PCC starts school year with enhanced security measures - Tucson Local Media: News

PCC starts school year with enhanced security measures

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Posted: Monday, August 26, 2013 4:47 pm

With the new school year set to begin, Pima Community College is offering a text-message notification system to provide accurate information and guidance about emergencies affecting the PCC community.

Anyone can sign up for PCCAlert, which the College activated last week: students, parents, employees, members of the community.

“The safety of everyone at PCC is a top priority for the College,” Chancellor Lee D. Lambert says. “We are constantly looking for ways to improve security so that our campuses and facilities continue to be great places to learn and work.”

In addition to PCCAlert, the College is improving safety by implementing a series of new security measures. They include:

  • Installing in all classrooms new locks that can be locked from the inside by pushing a button.
  • Relocating or adding about 100 fire alarms/fire suppression devices to increase coverage on PCC’s six campuses.
  • Testing an emergency loudspeaker paging system at Northwest Campus, with a goal of installing the system at other PCC campuses by next year.
  • Installing panic buttons at high-risk locations at each campus. Activating the panic button sends a signal to PCC Department of Public Safety dispatchers, who are on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Installing a new card-access system on high-risk doors.
  • Adding four new campus police officers, two new dispatchers and 10 Community Service Officer positions.

To sign up for the PCCAlert text system:  Using your cellphone, text the word alerts to 79516. A confirmation message will be sent.  Users can text the word stop to the same number to stop receiving messages.  There is no limit in the number of cellphones that can be registered to receive messages. Certain cellphone providers may charge a fee for delivery of text messages.

Examples of PCCAlert notifications include violent activity, such as an immediate threat to the PCC community, including off-campus events; hazards, such as major fires or hazardous materials leaks; and major disruptions to PCC, including building closures, campus closures, and severe weather.

“The PCCAlert system is one of many ways that the College can use to communicate during an emergency,” says William Ward, Vice Chancellor for Facilities. Those include notices on the PCC webpage, www.pima.edu, emails, internal announcements, fire alarm activation and in-person assistance and direction from PCC staff or law enforcement.

Total cost of the new measures, excluding the additional campus police officers, is approximately $2.7 million.

Registration for PCC’s Fall 2013 fall semester is now underway. Classes begin Wednesday, Aug. 28.

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