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May 20, 2018

Teams of professionals and trained volunteers work around the clock to keep the JCCC campus safe and secure

When it comes to maintaining a safe and secure campus community, Johnson County Community College is committed to giving its students, faculty, staff and visitors peace of mind. This dedication has not gone unnoticed – recently, the College was named the seventh safest educational institution in the nation by ADT.

Alisa Pacer, Emergency Preparedness Manager, says “This ranking is a team effort of the College community, including those who attend training, those who train, those who report and those who serve to make safety and security at JCCC a priority. Our prevention motto is ‘If you see something, say something,’ and we do so much to encourage this.”

While there are countless efforts that contribute to JCCC’s safety standards, the following programs and procedures are essential to ongoing success: 

Keeping Our People Safe (KOPS) – Watch: An emergency preparedness program, KOPS-Watch allows students, staff, faculty and visitors to anonymously report strange or unusual behavior, including

  • Welfare alert (concern for person)
  • Violent behavior
  • Substance abuse or use
  • Unusual or erratic behavior
  • Discrimination or harassment
  • Criminal activity on or near the JCCC campus

Further, the KOPS Advisory Committee is in place. This group of JCCC staff and faculty members regularly solicits feedback from constituents and facilitates communication with the president's cabinet to provide input for making strategic decisions about safety and security issues.

The Behavior Intervention Team (BIT): Established in 2008, the BIT reviews reports of suspicious behavior and assesses any danger or harm that may occur on campus. The team comprises faculty, staff and police representatives.

College Emergency Response Plan: The emergency response plan (PDF) clearly details safety zones, explains how the College will alert the campus community in the event of an emergency, and much more.  

ALICE Program: ALICE, which stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate, is an armed/violent intruder response training that faculty, staff and students participate in. This curriculum was implemented in 2012, and faculty and staff members take refresher training, online and/or in person, on an ongoing basis. 

Police Services

JCCC also has a 24/7 Campus Police Department and Dispatch Communication Center. Pacer says, “Safety is priority No. 1 at JCCC. Our Police Department follows the community policing model to engage the campus community to develop relationships with everyone on campus. We want students to feel comfortable to approach an officer any time they have a question or a concern. Our officers are here to serve, whether it be an escort to a vehicle, a car issue, lost and found items, etc.”

Police Department Chief Gregory Russell echoes Pacer’s thoughts. “High visibility of our officers is key. That means we patrol with all of the tools we have, including vehicles, bikes and walking. And as we patrol, we engage. This means we become social workers, counselors and medical responders, depending on what the situation calls for.”

The Police Department also regularly reviews trends from the state and regional law enforcement agencies, and every officer completes 40 hours of training each fiscal year to stay up-to-date.

When it comes to being nationally recognized for campus safety, Chief Russell says, “To be a community college recognized for its campus safety among major universities speaks for itself.”

Learn more about JCCC’s safety policies.

*This content originally appeared in the Shawnee Mission Post on May 21.