“Keeping Our People Safe” – Emergency Preparedness at JCCC


Hello. I’m Joe Sopcich, President of Johnson County
Community College. At our college, one of our priorities is the
safety and security of our students, faculty and staff. Preparing for emergencies is everyone’s
responsibility to help ensure that we know the right thing to do
when a crisis occurs. Managing emergencies requires us to identify
problems that could be encountered in various situations and propose solutions. Johnson County Community College has a crisis
management team that is responsible for preparing, reviewing and updating the college’s
emergency response plan and for educating and communicating how we stay safe
on this campus. As you you’ll see in this video, the college
also has a program called KOPS, which stands for
“Keeping Our People Safe.” This program outlines response strategies
so we know who to call in an emergency, who is in
charge, where we should go and what actions we should take. The more we prepare, and the more we learn,
the safer we should be. Please join me in the efforts to “Keep Our
People Safe” at Johnson County Community College. Johnson County Community College is a large
metropolitan campus with one main campus and multiple off campus sites, serving over 40,000
students taking classes for credit and for continued educational purposes. In order to serve the safety and security
needs of the college, the Keeping Our People Safe or
KOPS program was developed to address all-hazard planning strategies for emergency
preparedness efforts at the college. KOPS has 4 main components to address the
safety and security needs of the campus. They include: First is: KOPS-Watch, which is a early detection
and intervention strategy for reporting and managing
suspicious behaviors and activity. Second is: KOPS-Alert, which are the campus
emergency notification systems and procedures for keeping everyone informed in the event
of an emergency. Third is: KOPS-Zone, which includes the pre-identified
locations of where you should go during an emergency, such as emergency assembly areas,
storm security areas, plus information about the trained
employees who are assigned to help in the event of emergency. Lastly is: KOPS- Plans, which are the detailed
plans that contain all of the procedures and guidance documents for campus prevention or
mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. The Keeping Our People Safe Program brings
together a system of easy to recognize symbols for mapping and
labeling to indicate the various systems, locations, and procedures within the program. An early detection system and prevention strategy
for reporting and managing suspicious behaviors and
activity is vital to the safety and security of the campus. The KOPS-Watch is a system for reporting,
Non-Emergency, concerns on campus. If you have safety or security concerns, you
can make a report about; criminal activity, violent behavior,
welfare alert, anyone exhibiting unusual or erratic behavior, substance abuse or use,
or for concerns of discrimination or harassment. You are encouraged to report the suspicious
behavior or criminal activity, by calling KOPS-
Watch at 1-888-258-3230 or report via the website by going to www.jccc.edu/kops Through these reporting options, you can choose
to be anonymous or designate yourself as the contact
person for information related to the concern. The key to KOPS – WATCH is, ‘If you see
something, say something.’ KOPS-Watch reports are designed to assist
in security and safety and are reviewed by the
Johnson County Community College Behavior Intervention Team or B.I.T. The team is made up of employees trained in
the areas of security and safety and the purpose of the team is to
perform threat assessment and management functions for the college. One other vital aspect of KOPS-Watch is the
Johnson County Community College Campus Police department. The Johnson County Community College Police
Department is centrally located in the Carlsen Center. They provide services 24 hours a day and are
an integral part of the college’s dedication to develop
and maintain a safe and secure campus through the cooperative efforts of many college departments. The department provides a full range of services
including, but not limited to; campus crime response, staff support, access control, crime
prevention services and programs, safety escorts, medical emergency response, traffic enforcement,
and maintaining crowd control for campus events. The department maintains close liaison with
local, state and federal law enforcement agencies in
implementing and coordinating campus safety and law enforcement operations. KOPS-Alert covers the campus emergency notification
systems and procedures for keeping everyone informed
in the event of emergency. To report any emergency on campus call the
Johnson County Community College Police Department immediately
from any main campus phone by dialing ext. 4111, or if you are calling from a cell phone
or an off campus phone directly at 913-469-2500. Campus police dispatchers will promptly answer
your call 24 hours a day and will notify the appropriate personnel. For the majority of off-campus sites you should
dial 911 directly and the local police will respond,
we encourage you to notify campus police when appropriate to do so. When you call, give your name, telephone number,
location, and the nature and location of the emergency. Don’t hang up until the person answering the
call ends the conversation. If you need police assistance, but there is
no emergency, dial extension 4112 or 913-469-2500. Another way to notify the Johnson County Community
College Police, in case of an emergency on the main campus,
is to utilize one of the Emergency Phones located throughout the campus property. In all emergency situations communication
is vital to all involved. To keep you informed in emergency situations
the college has developed a comprehensive emergency notification system. The purpose of the system is to keep students,
faculty, staff, and community members informed about critical campus safety issues. A strategic protocol system is used, based
on the type of emergency. The following are examples of the
multiple notification methods used in the case of an emergency. The fire alarm system in a campus building
will be activated in case of a fire, which is indicated
by the flashing strobe light and loud alarm. When you see and hear this alarm you are to
immediately leave the building and move a safe distance from
the building and report to your designated outdoor building emergency assembly area. No one should re-enter a building until an
“all clear” is received from the Johnson County Community
College Police Department. When you hear the tornado public address announcement
you are to immediately move to a designated storm
security area for the building that you are in. Information for the locations of the designated
storm areas can be found on the Johnson County Community
College Police Department web page, or, one of the designated emergency posters located
throughout each building and classroom. There are also other notification methods
used in case of emergency. One of the primary notification methods is
JCCC Alert, which includes text and email notification. The text and email alert will give you information
concerning the emergency or warning and possibly a link for more information. It’s easy to get emergency notifications
from Johnson County Community College! Employees and students are automatically enrolled. Visit MyJCCC to access JCCC Alert and update
or add additional phone numbers. Other important notification methods include
the college Public Address System which has systems both indoors
and outdoors depending on the emergency. Listen closely and follow any emergency instructions
immediately. There is also a Digital Signage System throughout
campus. Which in the event of an emergency will display
information on the screens. Other emergency notifications include the
Johnson County Community College Home Page campus
alert information and the college Desktop Alert system. Finally there are other notifications such
as; Johnson County Community College Social Media. Facebook and Twitter, the college main phone
number greeting, local media outlets, emergency 2-way radios,
and weather radios that are located in many of the administrative offices, throughout
the campus. KOPS-Zone, Refers to the pre-identified locations
of where you should go during an emergency, such as the
outdoor emergency assembly areas and the storm security areas inside the buildings. Also within the scope of the KOPS-ZONE, Johnson
County Community College has developed a College Emergency
Response Plan. This plan includes involvement of designated
people at Johnson County Community College, called Building
Emergency Leaders or BELS to function as early responders in the event of an emergency. The BEL’s play a critical role in the overall
safety of the building occupants and in the communication process to all staff and students
during an emergency. Designated outdoor assembly areas are located
throughout the main campus grounds, typically far enough away from a building to clear any
emergency. Emergency Assembly Areas can be referenced
in the College Emergency Response Plan. The BEL’s lead building occupants to the
assembly areas and keep them there until the building emergency has cleared. In the event of a building evacuation, it
is your responsibility to know “where to go.” However,
BEL’s will be available to assist. At times of an emergency it is important to
follow their instructions. In certain situations such as an emergency
evacuation during inclement weather or freezing temperatures,
alternate building emergency assembly areas located primarily indoors in large event spaces,
may need to be utilized. Likewise with the designated evacuation assembly
areas, the Storm Security areas are also located throughout
the main campus facilities. These internal areas are designated for shelter
during times of severe weather. In the event of a severe weather, such as
a tornado warning, it is again your responsibility to
know where to go to be safe. BEL’s will be available to assist you in
the event of an emergency and following their instruction is vital. To find out the location of the Building Storm
Security areas, locate one of the posters located throughout the buildings of the main
campus. Another resource for finding the building
storm security areas is the Johnson County Community College Police Department webpage. When shelter plans are activated everyone
should continue to remain in a secure location until the storm warning has expired. Emergency Responsibilities for all to know
include; know the building floor plans, be familiar
with the campus, be aware of the location of the Automated External Defibrillators,
also referred to AED’s in each building, and
finally know where to go to find a first aid kit. References to all these locations can be found
on the Johnson County Community College Police Department
webpage, referencing the College Emergency Response Plan. In closing, if everyone takes responsibility
for their own safety and looks out for the safety of
others, when an emergency does occur on campus we can minimize the harm to people and property. Thank you for your support and help in “Keeping
Our People Safe.” Please direct any emergency preparedness questions
to the College Emergency Manager, by phone at 913-469-7622, or by email, [email protected] To reference emergency planning information,
visit the Johnson County Community College Police Department webpage.