Community colleges are looking to heighten security as school safety remains a big concern.
In Mason County, they have a plan. West Shore Community College near Scottville is working to get a full time police officer on campus.
It would be a win for the college and it would be a win for the community as well,” says Mason County Sheriff, Kim Cole.
West Shore Community College is ready to boost security for the upcoming school year.
“We have camera systems and we do have protocols in place to respond to and prevent emergencies,” says Scott Ward, the school’s president.
Next they want to have a full time, uniformed deputy on campus for the entire school year. It’s a remote campus, and they rarely have police nearby.
“We are talking anywhere from six to ten minutes would be an emergency response time to West Shore,” says Cole.
Not only can they respond quickly but they can prevent crime before it happens.
“The number one deterrent to criminal behavior is a uniformed officer in a marked police car,” says Cole.
The county board will decide whether to approve the plan Tuesday night. The school would pay for the deputy during the school year. In the summer, they’d be like any other road deputy.
“It’s a win-win for everybody,” says Cole, “It’s a win for the college, they are paying for it and it’s a win for the community because we get an extra body on the road when we relally need them in the summer.”
Our board was fully supportive of this and they put aside funding for it last year,” says Ward, “So it’s fully funded.”
The deputy will also implement safety and emergency protocols that the school has not been able to do in the past.
“We’ve heard from students over the years that they would like security training,” says Ward, “Thats one of those main roles we see this officer playing.”
The school would like to be able to focus on books and lessons but today’s environment puts a premium on student safety.
“Whether you like it or not, it’s the hand we were dealt,” says Cole, “We need to address it and we need to deal with it.”