Safety first, never second

Infrographic by: Joshua Manes

The recent shooting in Florida has people across the country focused on how they can stay safe on and off campus.

As media outlets continue to inform the public of the latest violent acts, the demand for preparedness is heightened.

Pierce should work toward having a more comprehensive system of informing everyone on campus about how to stay safe and what to do if they are faced with a threat.

According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have been 34 shootings in the United States since Jan. 1, all of which resulted in multiple injuries and/or deaths.

A 2016 study done by Citizens Crime Commission of New York City showed that there was a 153% increase of shooting incidents on or near college campuses during the 2011-12 to 2015-16 school years compared to the 2001-02 to 2005-06 school years.

Currently there is no system to ensure that everyone on campus is explicitly informed about all of the safety resources that are available to them.

While the campus already has safety precautions put in place, there is never a bad time to reevaluate current procedures to ensure that everyone on campus knows how to be safe.

The Sheriff’s Department on campus has their office and emergency phone number and Emergency Booklet is posted on the college website.

Campus payphones may also be used to connect directly to the on-campus Sheriff’s station by dialing *86.

The Sheriff’s Department said that they heavily rely on the information posted on the college website and other outlets on campus including the Roundup.

Even though Pierce has potentially helpful systems, students and staff may not be aware of what is available to them or how to access them.

One possible solution to keep students more aware of safety resources at Pierce is to create a video to be included in every student’s orientation.

The video can go into detail about what resources are available to students on campus and how to access them by including locations or building numbers and important phone numbers.

Examples and tutorials can be provided in the video to demonstrate how to use equipment such as the emergency phone and even make suggestions for how students should handle a threatening situation.

In addition, the video can be posted on the Pierce website with the emergency handbook for anyone to view again with additional phone numbers to call if they have any outstanding questions.

Communication is a big part of keeping a campus safe and it is necessary for Pierce to find ways to communicate more efficiently.

The campus could invest in the Barracuda, an intruder defense system that can lock doors even if they open in or swing out.

The Barracuda runs as low as $62 depending on the type of device needed. There are other companies that have similar products, but it should not cost more than $9,500 to protect each room on campus.

While there are already precautions in place to keep everyone on campus safe, there should continue to be a constant effort in finding ways to improve them.