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Texas Southmost College recently received a School Safety Spotlight Program recognition from the Texas School Safety Center for its collaborative safety and security work with local, state and federal agencies.
The Texas School Safety Center is university-level research center at Texas State University and is the regulating arm for Texas state legislature when it comes to key school safety initiatives and mandates, and releases security and safety information through research, training and technical assistance K-12 schools and junior colleges throughout the state.
TSC’s spring 2022 School Safety Spotlight recognition falls under the program’s Collaborative Community Partnership category proving that TSC’s safety initiatives are innovative and establish or maintain collaborative, working relationships between the college and its community partners.
In addition, it states that these partnerships go above and beyond what is required in law and influences numerous safety and security efforts.
TSC Associate Vice President for Operations Jaime Salazar said this recognition validates that what TSC is doing in terms of campus safety and security is effective.
“We are honored and excited to have received this recognition,” said Salazar. “Our entire campus safety strategy is based on a collaborative model and by receiving this recognition, it shows we are moving in the right direction.”
TSC’s security approach is a hybrid model, meaning that TSC’s community is under the watchful eyes of Allied Universal Security Company and off-duty law enforcement officials from the Brownsville Police Department.
The college also created two Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) with the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Brownsville Police Department giving both agencies a space to host a satellite office in the campus’ Safety and Security Command Center, with the agreement that both departments will also assist in patrolling our campus.
TSC also works closely with local, state and federal agents in our area for emergency planning management and emergency response.
“It’s important that we work hand-in-hand with our partners in safety and security because this gives our campus a strong security presence, allowing our students, faculty and staff to feel safe and have peace of mind while they learn or work,” said Salazar. “And it’s exciting that after 28 years in national security, I get to be at TSC to create the initiatives that keep our campus safe.”
Recently, the college also began using a new crowd sourcing tool called “Live Safe” to push alerts and notifications to the college community and give students, faculty and staff the ability to provide anonymous tips or report suspicious activity.
“Safety on campus is everybody’s responsibility, but we have to make it easy, so this new tool gives everyone the opportunity to collaborate with our department in ensuring we can mitigate emergencies in a timely manner,” said Salazar.
Salazar added that the work and recognitions his department has received could not have been possible without the support of TSC leadership.
“Our Board of Trustees and TSC President Dr. Jesus Roberto Rodriguez and have invested in a unique security model for the TSC community, which has made our campus safer for students, faculty and staff,” he said. “This has facilitated and supported our unconventional approach to campus security, which exceeds standards and incorporates interagency planning, implementation, response and recovery efforts.”