With all of the equipment Laramie County Community College’s Campus Safety and Security has at its disposal, the Cheyenne campus is under surveillance 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
James Crosby, the campus safety director for LCCC, has been with the college for the past five years and brought a lot of improvements to the campus, ensuring the safety of its students, faculty and staff. Including Crosby, LCCC has seven full-time security officers and six part-time officers.
Along with the 13 employees in the Campus Safety department, the officers have WYOLINK radios, 236 cameras, four Surface Pro tablets, 27 automated external defibrillator machines, 10 emergency “blue light” phones and a RAVE Mobile Safety Emergency Messaging System at its disposal.
Crosby explained LCCC is the only campus in Wyoming that has WYOLINK radios at its disposal.
“We are the only non-sworn department in Wyoming, in higher education, that has these,” Crosby said. “One reason that I think that we do is because we’ve shown that we are conscientious not to abuse that privilege. I think this is a great asset to the college community.”
The WYOLINK radios give the Campus Safety officers the ability to monitor emergency calls around the county and be in direct contact with emergency entities without having to call them on the phone. With this access, LCCC’s Campus Safety is capable of knowing when responders are in route to the campus before dispatch can call them and meet responders on the road to help assist them to the location in question.
Along with the WYOLINK radios, LCCC’s Campus Safety works directly with the Laramie County Sheriff’s Department, which has an office on campus. Captain Linda Gesell of Laramie County Sheriff’s Department is also a member of LCCC’s Care Team.
The 236 cameras around the campus are a vital component to keeping LCCC’s campus safe with 24/7 surveillance and easy viewing access for the officers. With access to Surface Pros, the officers on campus are capable of accessing cameras from virtually anywhere.
“If you see me in a vehicle on campus, I can see everything that is going on in the buildings just from the vehicle,” Juan Maldonado, Campus Safety assistant director, said. “We are not just sitting there having a sandwich or something like that.”
Another important feature that Campus Safety has acquired over the past 3 years, involving security cameras, is extra server space, which allows the department to keep surveillance footage for 30 days compared to the 10 days worth of space they had in the past.
“We could only hold 10-days worth of footage before it looped over,” Crosby said. “With the support of the administration we were able to get an increase in server size from the college for 30-days worth of storage.”
Campus Safety receives various delayed reports of stolen property from the campus parking lot, and with the extra storage space they can now investigate these reports with the help of surveillance footage instead of solely relying on the report.
LCCC’s Campus Safety does more than just keep the campus safe, they also respond to medical emergencies on campus. Every officer working on campus is required to be certified in CPR, defibrillator operations and First Aid.
The automated external defibrillator units are located in various areas around the Cheyenne campus. Since Crosby has become the Campus Safety director at LCCC, the number of defibrillators available to the public on campus has increased substantially.
“When I first came here we only had two (defibrillators),” Crosby said. “We had one in a patrol vehicle and one that was permanently fixed in a cabinet in the P.E. building. We were able to go to the administration and request additional units and now we have increased that to 27 units.”
Crosby explained that the defibrillators are there to help resuscitate someone in need and are easy to use, even for someone not familiar with them.
“The (defibrillators) are self-explanatory where you can’t hurt anybody with it,” Crosby said. “I think it’s good that we have been able to get that type of placement around campus.”
Along with all the training required to be a security officer, most of the campus officers have a background with law enforcement. Crosby spent more than 30 years with the sheriff’s department, while Maldonado was with the Air Force Security Forces for more than 20 years.
“Sometimes in colleges, you don’t really get the quality and educational level that our staff has here,” Crosby said. “We are fortunate to live in a town like Cheyenne that has the F.E. Warren (Air Force Base) because we get a lot of officers that work here that were former Air Force security police. I think that we are very fortunate to have the quality (of officers) that we have in this department.”
LCCC’s Campus Safety is required to fill out a Clery report every year regarding any incidents reported on campus. LCCC has to report every incident they receive in the Clery report, which is then broken into categories and various subdivisions.
“I can say that LCCC, in almost all categories, zeros out,” Crosby said. “Ours is very minimal. I like to attribute that to you guys being our eyes and ears.”
Crosby acknowledges that LCCC’s students, faculty and staff are a helpful resource in keeping the campus safe.
“When I’m talking to new students or even doing in-service training for our faculty and staff I tell them that there is no call that is foolish,” Crosby said. “If you see something that just doesn’t look right, if you’ll call us we will check on it and we will also involve the sheriff’s office.”
Clery reports for LCCC and other colleges and universities can be found at https://ope.ed.gov/campussafety.