By Denyse Haddock
Officially, Cumberland County College is open from 7am till 10pm, but even after the students and faculty have gone home to bed, the campus does not sleep. The buildings are locked up and quiet till dawn, just on pause, under the watchful eye of the night owl faculty-security.
Security at Cumberland County College operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Round the clock monitoring of the buildings and grounds is an arduous task handled by a team of 2 full time and 7 part time security officers. Each person placed into the team is trained extensively in the handling of a variety of security scenarios, as well as in medical and CPR assistance. There are, in fact, four defibrillators on campus: one in the fitness center, one in the Wheaton Building/Office Complex, one in the Fine and Performing Arts Center/ Humanities/Office Complex, and the fourth is in a security vehicle.
Security officers can be spotted on campus riding in “the cart” which is exactly that-a jazzed up golf cart. As of fall semester 2010, they can also be found in the new security vehicle, which looks pretty much like a police car. You can’t miss it with Cumberland County College written all over it.
Another thing not to miss is the placement of the call boxes throughout the parking areas. They have a blue light pole, and in the event of needing to call for assistance, are easy to use. Just follow the directions on the front. Inside, most hallways are equipped with intra campus telephones. The extension for security is 777, and according to the college website the phone can be used for emergency and non emergency requests 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The phones are also able to direct dial the Vineland police by dialing 9-911.
The Student Life and Campus Services Office provide announcements to the campus community on security matters. Those who have provided a cell phone number to the school may receive text messages. In the event of a serious campus wide occurrence, security will activate the chime on the clock tower in the center of campus to ring continuously, meaning seek shelter.
The safety and security department maintains a permanent office behind the information desk, in the Student and Enrollment Services Center. Inside, students will find Phil Cecola, the Director of Safety, meeting with team members. Out in front, at the information desk, members are stationed and available to assist you with any concerns you may have, or with information you may need. Did you know that it’s security that answers the phones?
Officer Danielle Gallegan is the only female security person on the team, and she makes it clear that the team extends well beyond the reach of those on the payroll. When asked what one security related message she would most like to convey to the masses she expressed that she can’t overemphasize the importance of being aware of your surroundings, and to report any suspicious activity to security so they can address it right away.” I want everyone to remember how important it is to know what’s going on around you, and to let us know about any concerns you may have.” Everyone has a place on the team when it comes to keeping the college safe.