Dear Colleagues and Students,
We are all saddened and shocked by the events at Umpqua Community College last week. It is a terrible tragedy when someone is able to cause loss of life in a place that is meant to be about bettering lives and realizing dreams. I know you stand in solidarity with the survivors beginning to cope with the aftermath of the Umpqua shootings.
As your college president, your safety is my top priority. Please take advantage of information about what to do should we have an active shooter on campus. Please go to myLoneStar to ensure your emergency contact information is current. View the video entitled “Lone Star College Armed Intruder Safety Procedures” available on YouTube at www.youtube.com/watch?v=NKP3GFjVSvo - and review additional safety information by visiting www.lonestar.edu/oem. This campus will have a lockdown drill in November as one of many activities we regularly undertake to ensure our preparedness for an emergency.
Captain Phillips and our officers have been and will continue to be active on the campus to provide a professional level of security for all. We are fortunate to have Sgt. Gomez who is an ALERRT (Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training) Trainer within our police department. He is very involved in providing our officers with active scenario training based on our campus environment. Law enforcement is also becoming more involved socially in the campus community. Dialogue and open communication are important to establishing trust, common understanding, and mutual support. Captain Phillips will be collaborating with Dr. Franklin Emeka (criminal justice faculty) to provide a monthly forum in which issues around law enforcement can be discussed. Many of us on campus are NIMS certified and have been through several training sessions, but I can’t emphasize enough how important it is for all of us to be vigilant and to communicate with our officers if we see something that doesn’t seem right.
My team and I will continue working with Captain Phillips and our system office on safety protocols. I know that our counseling staff and VPSS Dr. Chavez are well-prepared to help those of you in the classroom address any concerns you have about student behaviors. While none of us can say that we are 100% safe from an outside intruder or even an insider who wants to do us harm, each of us can do our part to be vigilant and take advantage of opportunities for preparedness (such as the video and safety information above).
As president of LSC-Montgomery, I am working to insure that we are a safe and secure campus. As we observe Safety Week this week, it is a good time to review procedures and address concerns. Captain Phillips himself will be manning the police table during Safety Week and is happy to answer your questions. Let us come together and support one another as we make Montgomery a safe and satisfying place to work and learn.
Rebecca Riley, MFA, EdD
President, Lone Star College – Montgomery
3200 College Park Dr., Conroe, TX 77384