Message From Director of Campus Safety and Security

Photo Lawson K. "Skip" James, Director of Campus Security

When one of our North Florida Community College Security Officers is on duty, he or she only has one pair of eyes and one set of ears. The officer can be in only one place at a given time and can only perceive what's happening in the immediate vicinity. Criminals usually make it a point to avoid law enforcement or security officers and while the officer is patrolling the area around, say, the Student Center, a burglar may be busily breaking into someone's car on the opposite end of the campus. How can the officers possibly know what's happening outside of his or her line of sight and range of hearing?

The answer is, YOU! Our North Florida Community College "family" can provide us with lots of extra eyes and ears, and when they're active our security officers can "see" and "hear" a very long distance! They can, in a sense, be in several places at once.

If you see or hear something that seems suspicious, you're probably right. Something is out of whack. Don't just brush it off as the figment of an over-active imagination or the pre-exam jitters. Go ahead and call security. And of course, if you actually do see or hear something that requires the immediate presence of a security officer, call for security or 911 right away! You can reach security by calling 850-973-0280.

When you report what it is that you saw or heard (or suspect), stay calm and provide as much detail as possible. When you are describing a person, pay attention to his/her race (White, Hispanic, African-American, or Asian) and the colors of the clothes he/she was wearing. The color of his/her hair and eyes isn't a big item here, but it's helpful if we know he/she was wearing a red jacket with jeans which had holes torn in the knees. It's also helpful if we know in what direction the individual was heading when you last saw him/her.

If the perpetrator gets into a vehicle, pay attention to the color of the vehicle and the direction it was heading when you last saw it. Providing the make and model of the vehicle is helpful, but the most valuable piece of information you can provide is the license plate number. Of course, getting a license number requires that you get fairly close to the vehicle and if a vehicle seems suspicious or if you know the driver has just committed a crime, stay clear of the vehicle! Don't try to sneak up so that you can clearly see the license plate or the person as this may very well compromise your personal safety.

So keep your eyes and ears open and if something seems suspicious don't be shy about calling for security. Stay calm and give accurate, detailed information to the security officer on duty.

Lawson K. "Skip" James
Director of Campus Safety and Security