Students can rest assured that, despite recent shootings around the country, campus safety and the Lakeland Police Department have a specific protocol for the protection of this campus.
Dylan Spinks, a Florida Southern College student, has some concerns with the security system that is set in place.
“It’s kind of concerning to just think that someone can just come up and attack one of the classrooms and not be stopped. It’s just something I think is in the back of a lot of student’s minds,” Spinks said.
Florida Southern’s Safety Office wants to be on the same page as students where safety is concerned.
Bill Carew, director of campus safety and security, said that students should know that their concerns are taken seriously.
“The Board of Trustees, have made it a high level priority for students to feel safe on campus at all times,” Carew said.
Statistically FSC is one of the safer campuses across the nation.
Since 2010, there have only been a total of 20 criminal offenses that have occurred on campus, none of which included murder, attempted murder, or sexual assault. This is significantly lower than the average across the country.
Though FSC is considered an “open” campus, it may be locked down at any point if student safety is at risk.
“Within a few minutes we can have the campus completely shut down, if need be,” Carew said.
Carew explains that the text message system is the best way to relay the important information throughout the campus. The professors and faculty must keep their phones on them at all times just in case something happens during class time.
Carew also believes that making the incoming freshman set-up with locator devices and the text message system will help with safety.
The text message system not only allows for students to be informed of the situation on campus but also for the LPD.
“It would take about two to three minutes for officers to arrive on campus,” Carew said.
The relationship with the police here in Lakeland is vital for the protection of the campus.
Sergeant Marshall Lord spoke of the overall responsibility that members of the police force feel towards the safety of the school.
“We take the protection of Lakeland as not only our job, but our responsibility. Protecting the school falls into that category,” Lord said.