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Campus Police & Message from Director

Message from the Director of Security:

Welcome to the Richland Community College Campus Police Web Page. In today’s society, security is an increasingly important consideration on campuses everywhere, and helping the Richland community stay safe and secure is our primary responsibility.

Knowledge and information are two important tools we can all use to keep us safe. By being prepared, we hope to enable Richland employees and students to make informed choices should they encounter a situation in which they feel threatened.

All members of the Richland community are responsible for their own personal safety, but we hope that the information provided on this Web page will offer relevant tips that can help you to feel more empowered.

If you have questions or comments, feel free to contact us.

Director of Campus Security

Security Services Offered at Richland Community College:

  • Patrol the building(s) and grounds addressing any violations of College policies and reporting any damage to property, equipment or safety hazards.
  • Assist in medical emergencies.
  • Assist with room access as necessary.
  • Conduct parking lot patrols – providing motorist assistance when possible.
  • Assist as “first responders” to Campus emergencies.
  • Document any Campus incidents or accidents.
  • Monitor and assist with “lost and found” items.
  • Upon requests, provide escorts to the parking lots.

Behavioral Evaluation Threat Assessment Information

The Behavioral Evaluation Threat Assessment (BETA) Team is a campus wide team that provides consultation, makes recommendations for action, and coordinates campus resources in response to reports of disruptive or concerning behavior displayed by students, staff, or faculty. A Behavioral Evaluation Threat Assessment Referral Form is available on that page for anyone who wishes to report an incident that occurred on College property.

Visit the Frequently Asked Questions page for more information about Behavioral Evaluation Threat Assessment.

Lockdown/Shelter-In-Place/Active Shooter

If a lockdown or Shelter-In-Place order is given, staff and students should lock themselves in a secure classroom or office as quickly as possible.  The order may come via the college’s intercom system, text/email alert system or by word of mouth.

A lockdown order may be issued for incidents that occur off campus or outside on campus grounds, but could potentially affect safety on campus.  For example, if an armed intruder was seen leaving ADM and the gunman is still at large or a gunman is seen in one of our parking lots, a lockdown order would be given.

A shelter-in-place order may be issued for an incident that as occurred within our campus.  For an example, a person with a weapon is seen in our center core area, an order to shelter-in-place will be given.

In the event of an active shooter on campus, a shelter-in-place/lockdown order will be given.  Depending on the circumstances, in may be best to evacuate the area instead.  For example, if there was an active shooter in the Health Professions wing, and you are in center core, it would be up to the individual to decide their best course of action, to shelter-in-place or evacuate the building.  Once an alert if given, employees and students who shelter-in-place should not leave their classroom or office until the all clear is given.

The video “Shots Fired on Campus” is an excellent resource.  It provides in depth information for students and employees about what to do in the event of an active shooter on campus, and all employees and students are encouraged to watch it.  Any faculty or employee who would like to have the Chief of Public Safety come to their work area or classroom for further discussion can call Dean Hazen at extension 6557.

SHELTER-IN-PLACE

  • Lock the door
  • Be out of the shooter’s view
  • Turn out the lights
  • Silence phones
  • Remain quiet
  • Wait for an all clear announcement or law enforcement.

EVACUATE

  • Leave via the closest exit
  • Exit to furthest area of the parking lot away from the buildings
  • Keep hands visible
  • Follow instructions of law enforcement
  • Once out, call 875-7211 ext. 555 or 911 when you are safe.

Campus Emergency Plan

The following information presents a thumbnail view of Richland Community College’s response to emergency management. It is not all-inclusive but is a “general overview” of important terms and procedures to be utilized in times of emergency. Staff and faculty must be made aware of this basic response plan. Students will be directed by the appropriate Richland personnel in the event of an emergency.

Emergency Notification Services

  • Richland Community College has response plans in place to deal with a variety of situations including shootings, severe weather, hazardous material incidents and bomb threats.
  • Richland officials have communicated our plan with the Decatur Police and Fire Departments. Police and fire officials have toured the campus to aid in response protocols.
  • Richland has signed an Emergency Operations Plan with Macon County Emergency Management Agency. EMA can assist in notifying local media outlets in times of emergencies utilizing the National Incident Management System (NIMS).
  • Richland can make mass emergency notifications through the use of the campus-wide public address system; mass e-mails to staff, faculty and students; network alerts that take over all network computers; internal campus cable television and RCC radio station 1610AM. The size of the campus also allows for rapid word of mouth notification.
  • Richland will utilize “plain talk” when communicating via PA, 800MHz radio system in compliance with NIMS. APCO “Ten codes” will not be used in emergencies.
  • Richland subscribes to an emergency campus notification system that can notify current students, faculty, and staff of potential threats or emergency situations through voice messaging. Current students, faculty and staff are automatically added to the call list each semester with the phone number that is on file in the Office of Student Records.

Right to Know

It is the right of all Richland staff, faculty, students and parents to know that emergency plans exist to offer them protection in times of emergency. Emergencies are very fluid and can change from moment to moment. No plan can include actions for every scenario but general flexible plans are in place to give direction to leaders and to the campus population. The preservation of life is the top priority followed by the protection of property. The situations addressed in the following paragraphs are emergencies for which colleges and universities across the country are preparing plans. Definitions of terms used in this plan are found at the end of the plan.

* Certain emergency procedures for dealing with violent situation are sensitive and are not shared with non-police personnel.

Definitions

Command Post (CP): The command post is where the Incident Commander runs the overall operations during the duration of a critical event or emergency. CP is different from the EOC defined below. The location of the CP is determined by the police or fire officer in charge of the incident.

Crisis Response Team (CRT): This team is made up of college administrators from various departments. The CRT will assemble during emergencies to decide on an appropriate course of action to take to ensure the safety of all persons and property. CRT members are to be ICS and NIMS trained.

Emergency Operations Center (EOC): The college operations center utilized by officials during an emergency event. Two campus locations have been identified as EOCs.

Evacuation: To move outside to a safer place as quickly and safely as possible for reasons of personal safety or protection. Evacuation is used in the event of an unsafe condition inside a building such as a fire, hazardous material release, bomb or bomb threat.

Incident Command System (ICS): In compliance with the National Incident Management System, Richland will implement the ICS systems for control and command and will work in the system with assisting agencies. ICS creates a universal language among responders and emergency response protocols.

National Incident Management System (NIMS): The methodical system of emergency management developed by the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to facilitate handling of large scale, multi-jurisdiction events. All local, state and federal agencies utilize NIMS in emergency management. Failure to follow NIMS protocol may result in denial of federal reimbursement of expenditures during mitigation of emergency situations. Additional information on NIMS and ICS can be found at the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s website at http://training.fema.gov/IS/NIMS.asp

Reverse Evacuation: To move inside as quickly and safely as possible. Reverse evacuation is used in the event of a severe weather condition or hazardous materials incident nearby.

Secure: The process of gaining and maintaining complete control of a situation; rendering a situation or location free from further danger. A declaration of “situation secure” signifies that the threat is over.

Shelter-in-place: An order to stay where you are as safely as possible. Shelter in place is used when conditions outside your location may be more dangerous that staying in place such as a hazardous material incident.

Staging Area: A safe location where emergency responders assemble and made ready for deployment. The primary staging and secondary staging areas have been identified and shared with local emergency responders. Staging areas are designated in conjunction with the location of the campus emergency.

Emergency Procedures

Procedures have been established for the following emergencies:

General Emergency Procedures

All personnel (faculty, staff and students) should remain calm in any emergency. Panic leads to injury and destruction of property. Prioritize and keep radio traffic brief and to the point. Use plain talk on the radio, no ten codes. Any lengthy verbal statements should be made via telephone. Assist with shelter in place or evacuation if you are able. If you don’t need to be on your cell phone, keep the cells clear.

The college telephone operator shall call 911 to report all emergencies and stay on the line with telecommunicators until advised to release the line. The operator will notify security to call up the crisis response team (CRT) to report to the primary EOC when advised of the location. The operator will relay pertinent information to emergency responders.

Security officers will report to the designated staging area and escort police and fire officials to the EOC. Security officers will perform other duties as trained for specific incidents.

Hazardous Material Spill/Release – Evacuate or Shelter in Place

In the event of a hazardous material, biological or chemical agent release in the vicinity of the campus, a shelter in place order will be given. Atmospheric conditions outside the building may be dangerous. The HVAC system should be deactivated to prevent contamination of the inside air supply. No one should leave the building until an “all clear” or secure message is broadcast over the PA system.

In the event of a hazardous material, biological or chemical agent release inside the buildings on campus, the fire alarm will be sounded and an evacuation will be ordered. The Material Safety Data Sheets, maintained in the Operations Office will be consulted for evacuation distances and mitigation (clean up) procedures. No attempt to clean up a hazardous material should be conducted by untrained persons.

Shooter on Campus – Evacuate or Shelter in Place

In the event of a report of an armed intruder or active shooter (someone armed and shooting a firearm) an immediate notification will be made in “plain talk” language over the PA system and an alert will be broadcast over the RCC Notifier Network Computer System.

Staff and faculty should immediately take cover in a safe location. If possible and safe to do so, people should evacuate the immediate area of an active shooter. If the shooter’s location is not clearly known or if a safe route cannot be determined, people should close and if possible, lock the doors to the rooms they occupy, extinguish all lights and remain motionless next to the wall near the door. This creates the appearance that the room is vacant. People should remain quietly in place until the “secure” notification is given.

Finally, if you are in an area with an active shooter, experience shows that laying down and remaining motionless, playing dead so to speak, is recommended. Laying down flat is vital to the success of this tactic.

Remember, evaluate the situation with the information you have and…GET OUT or HIDE OUT!

Weather Related Emergency – Shelter in Place

Severe weather can occur at any time during the year. Richland makes use of NOAA weather radios and National Weather Service Doppler radar to monitor storm threats. Most common threat to the campus will involve a tornado warning. Richland will make an immediate notification via the campus PA systems in the event a tornado threatens the campus. Standard weather response will be enacted as described on Emergency Procedures posted near doors in all rooms on campus. Remember to stay clear of glass windows and high ceilings like in Schrodt and Andreas Centers. An “all clear” message will be broadcast over the PA system once the immediate threat has passed. Individuals should not be allowed to leave the building during a tornado warning on campus. Elevators may be used in the event of a storm warning.

Medical Emergency

Emergency Services Personnel are to be summoned when any individual is unable to care for him/herself. If the medical emergency is life threatening (Airway, Breathing, or Circulation), call 911 or “0” for the campus operator who can contact Campus emergency personnel or “555” for Security Staff. If not life threatening, call “0” for the campus operator who will contact emergency personnel or “555” for Security Staff, or 551 for Operations Staff. Do not move the injured person unless absolutely necessary to prevent additional injury. College personnel should not administer any medical services unless required for life support.

Earthquake

In case of earthquake, if indoors, take cover under a piece of heavy furniture or against an inside wall during the shaking. The most dangerous thing to do during the shaking of an earthquake is to try to leave the building because objects may fall on you. Once the shaking has stopped, proceed with caution and leave the building as the structure my have become compromised. Any “after shocks” may cause sections to collapse.

If outdoors, move into the open away from buildings (a minimum of 500 feet), streetlights, and utility wires. Once in the open, stay there until the shaking stops.

Bomb Threats – Evacuate

In the event a bomb threat is received at Richland, the crisis response team will meet immediately and analyze the threat. Credible threats will result in an evacuation of the building. Safety and Security should be notified immediately followed by a call to 911. In the event a written or verbal threat is received Safety and Security should be notified immediately. No threat should go unreported.

Faculty, staff, and students should take their personal items such as purses, book bags and backpacks with them if an evacuation is ordered.  Doors to offices and classrooms should be left open and unlocked and lights should be left on during an evacuation.

In the event of the location of an improvised explosive device (IED), do not use the radio, cell phone or other electronic devices. Be aware of secondary devices in the area designed to injure emergency responders. A 500 foot perimeter  (equal to one and a half football fields) should be established. Do not handle any suspicious packages, book bags, briefcases, etc. Report the location of the package to safety, security, police or fire.

Criminal Activity

In the event of criminal activity, remain calm and do not attempt to stop a perpetrator. He/she may be armed. If activity is, or has the potential to become life threatening, call 911, or call “555” for Security, or call “0” for the campus operator. If activity is not, or does not have the potential to become life threatening, call “555” for Security or “0” for the campus operator. When reporting a situation, give as much detail as possible, including type of activities, type or extent of injuries (if any), description of perpetrator(s), description of vehicle (make, color, license number), direction of travel.

Fire – Evacuation of Building

In case of fire, activate the nearest fire alarm. Dial “0” for the campus operator to report the location of the fire. If the operator does not answer, dial “6555” for Security and tell them the location of the fire. Confine the fire by closing doors, windows, etc.

When the fire alarm sounds, exit the building by the nearest available door and move a minimum of 500 feet away from the building to allow emergency vehicles access to the building.

The elevator is deactivated by the alarm system and cannot be used. Individuals on the second floor needing assistance are to make their way to the stair towers “safe zone,” activate the emergency call box located at the top landing of each stairwell, and wait for assistance.  Instructors are to notify emergency personnel for any students needing assistance in the stair towers.

Crawl under smoke: The cleanest air will be closer to the floor.

If your clothing catches fire, STOP where you are, DROP to the floor, and ROLL over & over to smother any flames.

If power is lost, emergency generators will activate in approximately 10 seconds, providing emergency lighting.

Students and staff should not go to their vehicles and attempt to leave campus as this may impede fire trucks and other emergency vehicles attempting to reach campus by nearest roadways.

Power Failure

If the power to the campus is lost, emergency generators will activate in approximately 10 seconds. The generator will provide emergency lighting to allow everyone to go to a lighted area of the campus. The administration will evaluate the situation and determine the proper course of action regarding class schedules.

Evacuation of Buildings – Evacuate

Evacuation of the building can be done by utilizing the fire alarm. The fire alarm may sound automatically when smoke or heat is detected. The system may also be manually activated at pull stations throughout the building. The fire alarm may be ordered for instances of fire, hazardous material release, bomb threat or active shooter. In any event, if the fire alarm sounds, everyone must exit the building by the nearest door. Instructors are responsible for evacuating their classroom and for closing any doors as they exit. Elevators should not be used in the event of fire alarm activation. People should move away from the building and clear all doors. Driveways should also be cleared for emergency responders. Security and Operations staff will be responsible for checking stair tower safe zones for individuals needing assistance in evacuation.

Emergency Contact Numbers

  • Richland Community College Automated Line: (217) 875-7211
  • Campus Operator: Ext. 0
  • Campus Security (24/7): Ext. 6555
  • Police, Fire, and EMS: Dial 911 or 9911 from any campus phone

Title IX Complaints

Individuals who wish to submit a Title IX complaint should fill out a Title IX Complaint Form & submit it to the college via the instructions provided in the document.

Outside Resources for Assistance:

Safety Escorts

  • We provide safety escorts to all students, staff, and faculty. This service is offered 24 hours a day.
  • Students, staff, and faculty can request an escort by calling 875-7211, ext. 6555, or just call “6555” from any college phone.
  • If there is inclement weather such as snow, rain, severe cold, etc., there may be a wait time.
  • This service is provided for anyone who feels they need an escort to their vehicle for any reason.
  • When in Doubt. . . . Call us Out!!!

Contact Campus Police

The Campus Police Office is located in the East hallway. They can be reached at 875-7211, ext. 6555.