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Brookhaven College employee newsletter: Wednesday, October 17, 2012

New Police Program Prepares Students for Emergencies

New Police Program Prepares Students for Emergencies

Earlier this week the college practiced evacuation procedures for a bomb threat. Everyone was cleared from the buildings and asked to wait in the parking lots for the all-clear signal. Why do we do this? We must be prepared for a true emergency.

A portion of the new, expanded student orientation program touches on what to do during an emergency situation at the college. However, what about the noncredit students who never go through orientation? It’s true that many CE courses only meet on campus for a few days or even a few hours, but the English for Speakers of Other Languages students often take classes for months on campus.

In response to this unmet need, the college police and ESOL staff created a program to make sure that these students are also prepared for an emergency.

Police Sgt. Napoleon Hill, Officer Jesus Guzman and Lt. Mark Lopez have partnered with Joy Johnson and Monica Vasquez in the Workforce and Continuing Education Division to arrange safety presentations to ESOL classes and students.

Sgt. Hill and Off. Guzman worked with Monica to prepare a simple presentation that outlined what to do in an emergency, how to contact dispatch and how to report suspicious activities. They arranged visits to ESOL classes, giving the presentation in both English and Spanish.

After visiting five or six classes, however, they decided to set times when the students can gather as a group outside of class so the students and police have time to interact. Some ESOL students are afraid or hesitant to call the police if they see something or if they feel nervous, Hill said.

Police and ESOL staff are also educating students about the text message alert option through the DCCCD Emergency Alert system.