Emergency preparedness plans and procedures
In light of recent events involving mass shootings across the nation, I wanted to make sure our campus is aware of emergency preparedness plans and procedures already in place at UNCSA. As always, the safety of our students, faculty, staff and visitors is our top priority.
Our Police and Public Safety Department is staffed with full-time officers who have been professionally trained and fully equipped to respond to active shooter and other tactical emergency situations 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
On Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, I met with police and emergency responder leadership from our area, including colleges and universities, to discuss this very topic: How prepared are we to respond to such a tragedy? The common theme was interagency cooperation, collaboration and training. While the best course of action is always to recognize and intervene with persons on the pathway to violence, we must remain vigilant and prepared for any and all possibilities.
Since arriving at UNCSA in fall of 2017, I have worked with our university leadership to invest in training and equipment for our department and in technology resources to mitigate risk in many areas. I also have collaborated with the UNC System Office and consultants regarding best practices and standardized procedures. And I have cultivated partnerships with area police departments and chiefs. All of these initiatives have served to enhance the safety and security of our campus. What follows are some of our initiatives:
Every fall, the Police Department provides an introduction to active shooter response for all new students at orientation. We train Residence Life staffers annually in the active shooter response, and practice various scenarios throughout the year. Also, newly hired employees receive an introduction during their orientation.
We have eight certified A.L.I.C.E. (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) instructors in our department and have trained a number of faculty and staff in the program, which presents similar concepts as the Department of Homeland Security’s Run, Hide, Fight initiative. A.L.I.C.E. goes into more detail with practical applications that help attendees understand and internalize why the different methods work and make better decisions in the heat of a situation. We are offering this program to any department across campus; the program is best provided in the work/study environment so as to better prepare attendees to respond. For more information and to request training, contact Emergency Management Coordinator Clarisse Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org or 336-770-3321.
Drills and Faculty Training
In partnership with Dean Martin Ferrell, the High School Academic Program faculty
completed ALICE Training and used lessons learned during an Active Threat Drill in
Gray Building (where high school academics are held) last year. This drill, which
is similar to public school drills, will be conducted on an annual basis with the
high school. Regular fire and tornado safety drills take place in the high school
In addition, we will be scheduling training sessions with all of the arts schools this semester beginning in September with Drama, which will spend a half-day in A.L.I.C.E. training and conduct a drill for their entire school.
Emergency Management Coordinator Davis has worked with Dean Ferrell on modifying a conversation guide to supplement classroom training with high school students on what to do in an emergency situation. This same guide was provided to the Faculty Development Office and to the arts schools as a resource for the college programs.
Emergency Call Boxes
Distinguished by blue lights, Emergency Call Boxes are located across campus. The Call Box loudspeakers have the ability to broadcast messages and instructions for dealing with emergency situations, from a hazardous materials release to an armed intruder. The audible sirens attached to the Call Boxes are tested the first Wednesday of every month at 10 a.m.
UNCSA Alert is UNCSA’s emergency notification system. It is used for time-sensitive emergency
notifications involving imminent or ongoing threats to our campus. To keep you in
the know, we also send Safety Notices, such as car thefts off-campus, via UNCSA Alert.
UNCSA Alert utilizes a variety of communication channels to reach the most faculty, staff and students possible: text messages, emails and phone calls, as well as UNCSA’s website (red bar across front page), and UNCSA’s Facebook and Twitter pages.
We are currently in the process of changing our UNCSA Alert software vendor to Rave Mobile Safety, which is used by 11 of the 17 constituent institutions in the University of North Carolina System. Rave will offer us expanded capabilities and the ability to purchase additional components over time. Our first test of the Rave system will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 4.
In the future, you will be automatically included as a Rave subscriber when you enroll or are employed. But for now, you must still sign up for UNCSA Alert to receive the texts, emails and phone calls. Please do so, today!
Emergency Response Guidelines
Our Police and Public Safety web page features guidelines of what to do in case of an emergency. These Emergency Response Guidelines are provided for quick reference in the event of an active shooter, bomb threat, severe weather, or other emergency situation.
Exterior Door Lock Controls
UNCSA has contracted with a vendor to ensure that all of our facilities can easily be locked down to secure occupants from active threats to our campus. To support this effort, please do not prop open on lock in the push bars on exit doors.
Performance Venue Emergency Preparedness
The Police Department has been working with campus partners to review performance venue emergency management procedures to ensure the safety of not only our faculty, staff and student performers but also our patrons. We also coordinate additional police or security staffing for special events.
UNCSA periodically undertakes regular practice emergency exercises that involve the school’s administration and staff across campus, from the Chancellor to Student Affairs to Facilities Management. A larger “full-scale” emergency exercise – involving citywide resources such as the Winston-Salem Police and Fire departments – was held May 22, 2018, and plans for another “full-scale” emergency exercise are already underway. During these drills, the campus’ Emergency Operations Center is activated, as it would be in a real emergency.
Remember that information regarding crime incidents on campus is available to you 24/7 on the Police Department’s Crime and Fire Log, posted for transparency and in compliance with the Clery Act. In addition, you can access and review the Annual Security Report on the same page. This document outlines the safety procedures and notification policies of the university as required by federal regulations. It is published annually by Oct. 1 for the previous calendar year and the link is sent to all students, faculty and staff.
Please know that we are always open to improving our processes and procedures and taking your feedback. We are here to serve you. Questions? Just email email@example.com.
Thank you. I hope to see you around campus.
Chief of Police
Aug. 8, 2019