Security department works to prevent emergencies

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Fire alarm tests on the new building left confusion and a lack of communication between the security office and the work crews last week.This begs the question: What is the policy of the security office in a time of emergency? They are really only seen on campus wandering around the parking lots telling people not to park in such and such a place. “The security department is the direct liaison between the faculty and the San Bruno fire and police departments,” said Loretta Adrian, the Vice President of Student Affairs. “Their immediate goal is to assess and ensure the safety of everyone [during an emergency].”The security department plays a critical role, but is part of a much larger group that ensures the safety of the school and its patrons. Along with the two security officers on duty at a given time, there are also building captains for each building on campus, that aid in the mobilization and evacuation of the students. These building captains change every semester according to Adrian. “They really work with the administration,” says Adrian.The security department still functions fairly well, even with the lack of a head security guard. The last full-time Chief of Security officer, Jim Herndon, retired last year and their interim Chief of Security, Tommie Phillips Sr., resigned in July because of personal reasons. But even with the Chief of Security position vacant, they are still assuredly prepared for anything that could happen.But the security department’s job starts before any emergency even takes place. Their main job is to prevent these emergencies. Last year, there was a simulated exercise for the security team of what might happen during an emergency. They used participants from the EMT classes at Skyline to play victims in varying states of safety and health conditions, all similar to what could happen during a real emergency. They even had the help of the San Bruno police department during the exercise, to simulate the procedure for contacting the city police and informing them of the situation. Currently, the security department is working on updating the emergency plans around the school so that they are up to date with state and federal regulations. But on a more personal level, they are planning four days of one-hour emergency preparedness workshops in conjunction with the American Red Cross Association. These workshops are meant to inform people about safety tips for when they are at school, but also during their personal time, off campus. “We do take it [safety] very seriously and hopefully we are prepared,” said Adrian.Part of taking safety seriously includes the everyday work that not many people notice, whether it is routinely opening up all of the buildings at the beginning of the day or patrolling the parking lots. Addressing smoking and speeding complaints are the two most common problems the security teams respond to on a daily and weekly basis. In the evenings, the security officers offer an escort service, where a student can call the security office and request an officer to escort them from their car to their classroom and vice versa, if they feel that they are uncomfortable walking on campus at night. But one of the important details about the security team is that they are making themselves visible to the students, so that their presence is known on campus. “Hopefully, they are out there talking to students,” says Adrian.”In broad general terms, they respond to the safety of the Skyline community,” says Adrian.