From tragedies at educational institutions like Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois University to shopping centers like Westroads Mall just down the road from Crete, Neb., we are constantly reminded of the need for security to ensure a safe environment.
Doane College recognizes this issue and has taken action to reassess campus safety. Students, administration and outside organizations collaborated to evaluate Doane's campus security.
The result: Doane's new Safety Office, dedicated to supporting the college mission by providing a safe and secure campus through monitoring, reporting, educating and proactively seeking ways to improve the Doane environment.
Safety Director Russ Hewitt said the changes the Doane community is seeing this year are necessary to ensure the best environment for students to learn and grow.
"A central office, clear communication lines and a security team integrated with the campus will help us keep Doane a safe place," Hewitt said.
The office's overarching objectives are to proactively maintain safety, be available and visible for campus community needs and serve as a resource to students, faculty and staff, with priorities of availability and responsiveness to the Doane community, accurate reporting of campus activity, securing of campus buildings, proactively seeking information for campus improvement (survey and assessments), and visibility.
From staff to surveillance, improvements have taken place since the Safety Office began last spring.
Doane now has a contract with Securitus Inc. Securitus guards Joel Grantham and Roy Carlson have not only been trained by their company, but also Doane's Safety Office. They've been included in the communication chain and have Doane e-mail accounts, making them even more accessible. The Securitus guards are identifiable by their uniforms.
As well as the contracted guards, Doane hired three safety administrators (SAs) who live on campus and work in shifts, keeping the office operational 24/ 7. SAs Mike Dixson, Chris Loos and Mitchell Vires will be focusing on parking enforcement, campus event staffing and the key control/administration system as well as monitoring general campus security. They will work to establish a rapport with the campus community and have made themselves available to maintain the highest level of safety at all times. The SAs are identifiable by their Doane College Security shirts.
Securitus guards and SAs will assist in lockouts, escort across campus, investigating suspicious activity and more.
Doane has added technological upgrades to maintain campus safety as well. Electronic locks on exterior doors of residence halls and education buildings will allow access to the Doane community while securing the buildings from intruders. Security cameras in various parking lots will deter would-be thieves and vandals, and capture assailant on video for future prosecution.
The office staff is based out of a central area in the lower level of the Perry Campus Center and can be reached at (826) 8669 at any time.