Southwest Tennessee Community College wins national safety award

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Already this year there have been at least a dozen school shootings, but campus police at Southwest Tennessee Community College say they’re prepared for anything.

Angela Webb is the director of Police Services and Public Safety at Southwest Tennessee Community College. She’s been a police officer for 34 years, spending 29 years in the city of Memphis.

“My personal feeling is, we’re not going to be victims,” she said. “We’re going to survive whatever the event is, and I just feel bad for the person that tries us.”

Out of 1,200 colleges across the country, Webb and her team are 2019 winners of the American Association of Community Colleges’ Award of Excellence, recognizing exceptional safety work.

“So ecstatic, I almost jumped out of my seat and ran on stage,” Webb said.

From in-depth training with employees and officers, to active drills with students, Webb says this kind of work allows them to perfect their safety programs.

“I am very sad that we’re in the time that we’re in that we are experiencing these kinds of things,” she said.

As another security layer, the college decided to add a technology element called the Rav Guardian app, which is similar to a buddy system.

“They can go on the app and enter in a timer and say, ‘I’m leaving the academic building and I should be in my car in two minutes.'”

The person can then send the alert to family, friends or campus police.

If an officer doesn’t have the person’s message cleared after two minutes, they can immediately track where they are.

This is just something else Webb says will help students and staff feel safe in a time where campuses are a target.


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