The Chief's Blog
As part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April, I wanted
to take a moment and share with you a number of events that the TCC Police
Department will be supporting. I hope you take some time to help support them
Refuge House has partnered with Tallahassee Community
College to provide a wide range of advocacy services relating to the prevention
of domestic, relationship violence and rape crisis, all of which are available
for any student, faculty or staff member at TCC. They will be hosting a
community awareness event at Lake Ella on April 9 from 6 to 8 p.m. There will
be a number of community groups setting up information tables and Refuge House
will be providing refreshments.
Additionally, Refuge House will be hosting a 5K run on
Sunday, April 19 at Jake Gaither Community Center. Please refer to their website
for further information: www.refugehouse.com.
Another important organization, Big Bend Victim AssistanceCoalition (BBVAC) will be hosting their annual Jill McArthur Victims’ Rights
Week Luncheon and Awards Ceremony, Monday, April 20 at Capital City Country
Club. For more information about this event, please contact Fawnisha Brown with
Tallahassee Police Department at (850) 891-4200.
TCC PD is committed to our mission of providing a safe
learning environment for our community. Education, prevention and awareness
programs are a critical piece to this mission and I rely on our community
partners to help us in this endeavor.
Each and every member of our community can play an important role in
maintaining a safe campus.
If you have been a victim of any form of violence,
harassment or abuse, please reach out for help. If the incident(s) have
occurred at your home off campus, contact the police or sheriff’s department at
(850) 606-5800. Both agencies have victim advocates to assist you. If you feel
more comfortable beginning this process with TCC PD, please call us at (850)
201-6100 and we will be glad to assist you with reporting to either of our
local law enforcement agencies as well as contacting Refuge house to help you
with any advocacy needs.
If you know of someone who has or is experiencing any type
relational violence, please encourage them to seek help. If this is happening at TCC please report
this to my department. If you feel uncomfortable coming directly to the police
department, you may report the incident to any of the following Campus Security
- Student Affairs
- Athletic Coaches and
- Advisors to Student Groups
- Campus and Civic Engagement
- Disability Support Services
- Administrators at all
satellite campus locations
- Police Department members
You can also report the incident using Silent Witness, a program that allows you to report crimes or incidents
that occur on campus anonymously. It is very important for us to know about
crimes on campus so that we may be able to take steps to prevent further
It is important to hold those people responsible for harming
our community. If you witness any form
of violence, harassment or abuse, know that there is strength in numbers. By
intervening and providing assistance however you can, you send a message that
you do not condone that type of behavior here at TCC.
For additional information about safety and awareness:
- Jessica from
the Refuge House discusses safety and Refuge House services: VIDEO
Government’s website on the prevention of sexual assault: www.notalone.gov
Thank you for your contribution to making TCC a great place.
This is an update for the TCC community on efforts we have
made to better secure the campus since the June 10, 2014 incident on campus
involving a person with a handgun.
The following actions were taken as a result of the
- Reviewed the incident from a safety and security standpoint
with a goal of revising any processes and protocols identified as deficient.
- Reviewed and assessed our current ability to lock down the
- Provided recommendations on how to enhance our ability to
- Provided a longer-term solution to a campus-wide remote
E.E. Eunice, chair of the Safety and Security Committee,
organized a special ad-hoc committee led by Monte Finkelstein. The ad-hoc
committee’s report addressed the following key issues:
- TCC Alerts process modifications
- Physical security improvements on main campus
- Need for continued training both on a college-wide level and
within individual departments
- Enhanced TCC Emergency Communications Operations Plan for
TCC Alert process modifications:
- Future alerts will include a building name and number.
- A process has been developed to broadcast a general alert
with an immediate safety directive. This alert will be followed by an updated
alert within approximately 15 minutes that provides more specific information
about the incident. Follow-up messages may direct the TCC community to the TCC
website for more in-depth information.
- TCC Alerts are now facilitated through RAVE Alert, replacing
BlackBoard Alert. Note that you will receive text alerts to your cell phone
faster than any other alert notification.
- Alertus has replaced Net-Notify as the software product that
manages and sends alerts to computers and telephones on campus.
Follow the directions given by TCC Police
and do not advise
others to do things that are contrary to what the alert has instructed.
Physical security improvements on main campus:
- As a short-term solution, we are installing locksets on
rooms that could not lock or could only key-lock from outside of classroom.
This is in process now and will be complete before the start of the Fall 2015
- For a long-term solution, we are currently in the planning
stage of a process to migrate to single electronic lock solution for entire
- We are in the process of securing Department of Homeland
Security funds to expand camera system capabilities on campus.
Safety and security training on campus:
- Continue with campus-wide building captains training,
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) basic training, other training as
- Training is available in person and will be available online
as soon as modules are built to work within Canvas.
- Department-based training and awareness will be set up by
department directors and TCCPD. Please contact me via email or
TCC Emergency Communications Plan enhancements:
- The TCC Emergency Communications Plan has been refined to
incorporate National Incident Management System language and recommendations.
- Roles and responsibilities within the Office of Communications and Marketing have been refined to ensure critical tasks are
addressed during an emergency event at TCC.
It is important to note that in the time of an emergency, faculty
and staff should follow the TCCPD’s directions and not advise students to do
anything different than those directions.
I would like to thank the TCC community members who help
keep our campus a safe place to learn and work. Please let me know if you have
any questions on this or any other safety-related matters.
I hope this final blog for 2014 finds you well and ready for the holiday season.
2014 has been an eventful year here at TCC, in our local community and across the nation. We have been tested with a number of events here on campus from firearm-related incidents to weather emergencies. From my perspective, we have learned quite a bit and have been able to improve a number of processes from these experiences.
As we move forward, we will continue to learn from the events happening locally and across the nation with the goal of gaining insights for implementing preventative measures here at TCC to make our campus even safer.
On behalf of the staff of TCC PD, we hope you have a safe and happy holiday season and come back to campus ready for a great new year.
One objective remains constant; a safe community begins with a solid foundation of trust amongst our community members and leaders. As I have had the privilege to meet many of you at different events, I have been encouraged to feel the sense of community that exists at our College. I will continue to encourage each of you to do your part to keep our campus community a safe place to learn.
Two recent events serve as proof to me that our students are doing their share. In one, a student oversaw two individuals conducting a drug transaction near the Workforce Development Building. The student alerted a staff member who contacted TCC PD. Our investigation resulted in the seizure of marijuana and instruments used in the sale of illegal drugs. The suspect, a student, was arrested and taken to jail. I am a firm believer that guns and drugs are a nexus to violent crime. If dealers believe they can sell drugs here on campus without fear of the community objecting they will.
The second event was last week when a student contacted TCCPD to report two individuals pulling door handles on cars in one of our parking lots. Our investigation determined that the suspects entered at least one vehicle and stole a purse containing valuables. The purse was recovered and returned to the student that evening.
These are great examples of our students doing the right thing and helping us keep our campus safe. As we enter the holiday season and a break from campus, I want to share this link with you all from the National Center for Campus Public Safety: www.nccpsafety.org/news/articles/holiday-safety-tips. They provide a series of tips and suggestions for you to think about both here on campus and at home, as well as while you are out shopping.
On behalf of the staff of TCC PD, we hope you have a safe and happy holiday season and come back to campus ready for a great new year.
As many of you may know, there was a shooting
at FSU’s Strozier Library early this morning. Please keep the victims and
the entire FSU Community in your thoughts and prayers. We will monitor the
events and offer any assistance should FSU PD or TPD make a request.
Please fight the temptation to spread information that has not
been vetted or shared via official sources. If you believe you have information
about this incident please contact TCC Police at (850) 201-6100 and ask to
speak with a supervisor. If you know the FSU community members involved in this
incident and need any assistance with coping with this event, please utilize
our campus advocacy services or let me know personally. I will ensure we can
get you some assistance. Big Bend 211 is a free and confidential telephone
referral service all you need to do is dial “211”.
Our school has safety plans in place and we will be extra
vigilant over the next few days. As you can see from this event and our own
experiences here at TCC, your local law enforcement agencies work very
well together. We all rely on your cooperation and assistance to keep our
community safe. You all are a very important part of the safety equation.
Please do not hesitate to ask any questions of us.
I hope the beginning of the fall semester has been a smooth
transition for all of you and you are settling in to a good routine.
We experienced a rash of thefts the first week of classes.
The suspects were stealing personal data devices that were left unattended.
Please do not leave your valuables unattended, even for a few seconds because the
theft can happen that fast. These types of crimes can be prevented very easily,
by asking a friend to watch your valuables if you have to leave them. If you
see someone who may be looking around as if they might be waiting for an
opportunity to steal something, call our office at (850) 201-6100. Please make sure to provide a
good description for our officers to work with.
You may begin to see or read information about bystander intervention.
Bystander intervention is a term that has been associated with your ability to
intervene if you see a fellow student or friend possibly becoming victimized.
The most common scenario centers on social settings where alcoholic beverages
are being consumed. If you see where a
friend or fellow student may have had too much to drink and is vulnerable to
being victimized, you need to help and intervene. Sadly, some people go out
with the specific intent to victimize another person. There have been many
cases locally at clubs and parties where someone has mixed drugs into drinks
and later assaulted a person. These incidents have obvious short-term but also
long-term negative effects on a person’s life.
In other news, TCCPD has begun a partnership with Refuge
House in an effort to provide referral services to those students who may need confidential
advocacy services. Additionally, our partnership will provide an avenue for students
gain more information and training about personal safety. The video below discusses Refuge Houses’ service and some tips for about how to
intervene in a situation that could result in an assault.
Another great video was produced byNorth Carolina State University and discusses Bystander Intervention including
some short video segments about how to intervene. I believe it is worth anyone’s
time to watch it, not just students.
TCC is in the process of developing more training for Faculty,
Students and Staff dedicated to personal safety and how to report incidents of
sexual assault, harassment, stalking and domestic violence. In the meantime, if you have any questions
please do not hesitate to contact TCC Police Department for further
Stay safe and enjoy your time at TCC.
This will be my first fall semester with you at TCC and I
look forward to the beginning of a great year. Our Police Department has just finished our annual in-service training
and will begin this school year with a renewed effort to work with our TCC
Community to maintain a safe learning environment for all.
Please remember, public safety is everyone’s responsibility, please do your part to help us maintain a safe campus. Anonymous tips for crimes or suspicious incidents occurring on campus can be reported via “Silent Witness”. Silent witness is available via the TCCPD website.
Events from around the country remind us that communication
and collaboration are two major components of a safe community. TCCPD completed advanced training in
Procedural Justice and Police Legitimacy. I feel confident we are the first law enforcement agency in our area to
begin this process and integrate procedural justice and police legitimacy into
our daily operating procedures. Our
police agency understands that TCCPD derives its authority from the US
Constitution, Florida Statutes and TCC Policies, but we understand we gain our
legitimacy for our community.
Last year, TCCPD received high marks from you as reported in
the annual survey of safety on campus.
Our goal is to continue to reach higher.
One of the ways I believe we can add value to your safety while you work
or attend school at TCC is to assist you with any efforts you make to remain
safe while you are off campus.
TCCPD maintains highly effective relationships with our
local law enforcement agencies and many community based organizations in an
effort to ensure there is continuity in services for you. We welcome any opportunity to serve you while
you are here at Tallahassee Community College.
If you would like to meet with me or any member of our staff please do
not hesitate to contact me at (850) 201-6100 or via email at email@example.com.
Please remember, public safety is everyone’s responsibility,
please do your part to help us maintain a safe campus. Anonymous tips for
crimes or suspicious incidents occurring on campus can be reported via “Silent
Witness”. Silent witness is available
via the TCCPD website.
The summer is flying by and we are quickly moving towards
the fall semester, but no matter what time
of year it is safety is always in season. TCC Police Department members have been busy in a number of ways and I
thought I would use this time to share information about a few safety related
Safety and Security
Committee Ad Hoc Task Force
At the request of President Murdaugh, EE Eunice, executive director of TCC's Florida Public Safety Institute, convened a special meeting with the Safety and Security Committee. The committee was tasked with creating a
special ad hoc sub-committee to review the firearm incident on campus. The mission of the task force was to solicit
feedback on the incident, review our current training and procedures and make
recommendations for how to improve our processes here at TCC. The task force group is chaired by Monte Finkelstein, dean of History and Social Sciences,
and is comprised of TCC faculty and staff from many different areas on campus. We hope to culminate our work with a
document that provides an overview and lessons learned. My sincere thanks go out to Dr. Finkelstein,
Martin Balinsky, Alice Maxwell, Candice Grause, Mike Matthews, GW Lupton, Mike
Younger, Dave Wildes and Jimmie Baker for their efforts.
RAVE Alert has replaced Blackboard as the platform for our campus-wide
notifications system. IT is in the
process of changing some software that will help integrate the alert
system. You have seen separate emails
from me regarding Alertus and checking your contact information in Eaglenet. We will be working on a campus wide alert
test in August.
Personal Safety and
Tallahassee Community College does not condone any form of harassment or relationship related violence. If you need more information about what to do if you feel that you have been victimized or know another student who may be in need of assistance, please contact TCCPD.
I am very proud to report that TCCPD has partnered with the Refuge House
on training for students relating to relationship
violence awareness and what to do if one finds themselves in need of
assistance. TCCPD will have printed
information available in our lobby and at our information kiosk in the student
union. Refuge House will provide some
information at our student orientations too.
TCC will continue to increase our commitment to keeping a
safe campus by implementing a college wide training program for faculty
students and staff. We are working with
a national organization to finalize our plan and I will write more about this
Lastly, we will be in the process of modifying our service hours beginning
in August. The Police Department service
hours will closely mirror those hours of the class schedule, the Library and
the Learning Commons. This modification
will allow us to have more staffing available during peak hours of campus
activity. We will continue to have an
emphasis on patrolling the parking areas during the evening. Please do not hesitate to call us if you need
some assistance watching out for your safety while you walk to your car.
I wanted to advise the College Community that an arrest has been made in connection with a June 10, 2014 incident involving a person with a handgun on the main campus. The incident resulted in a dangerous-person alert being issued and the campus community being advised to remain indoors. No shots were fired during the 10:30 a.m. incident and the campus was fully open and operational by 1 p.m.
Since then, an ongoing investigation has resulted in the arrest of Melchi Trelenus Thomas, 19, of Tallahassee. Mr. Thomas has been charged with aggravated assault with a firearm and possession of a firearm on school property. The suspect was taken into custody by the U.S. Marshals Service today and was later turned over to the Leon County Detention Facility. A judge has set the suspect’s bond at $11,000 and also issued an order that prohibits Mr. Thomas from coming to the TCC campus.
Mr. Thomas is a current student at TCC. The College judicial process has also begun concerning the incident.
I would like to thank the TCC Community members who played an integral part in this investigation and are committed to helping keep our campus a safe place to learn.
The past two days have been very busy for Police Department members here on the main campus. First and foremost, I want to express my thanks to all faculty, students and staff for their efforts the day of campus wide alert. There are a few questions on protocols and procedures that have arisen out of the events of the day. Our department will be working with the College’s established committees on campus to make revisions or adjustments as necessary.
Our College has very good plans in place to address how we, as a college community, should react to campus wide emergencies. Our Building Captains manual and our Facilities Emergency Response Plan are great resources. Your Building Captain has these plans available via a PDF document. You may also contact Mr. Michael Younger, TCC Safety Officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org for a copy of these documents. Our long range plan is to continue to train more Building Captains. Please let your supervisors know if you are interested in this training.
We, as a TCC Community, will emerge from this event even stronger and better prepared to take on tomorrow’s challenges. My department’s investigation of this incident continues. Any faculty, student or staff member that was a witness or has any information regarding this incident, I encourage you to contact TCCPD or utilize our Silent Witness program available via TCCPD’s website.
I will challenge all of you to be part of our campus safety solution. You have a responsibility to help maintain a secure learning environment here at TCC. We are here to help you but you have to take a stand. When someone’s actions or behavior is inappropriate or is breaking the law, don’t let it go. When those individuals intent on making this campus unsafe believe you will not object, they will keep doing it. There is strength in numbers.
In our continuing effort to keep you safe both on and off campus, I have included a number of areas within the City of Tallahassee currently experiencing an increase in burglaries and auto thefts.
Tallahassee Police are continually patrolling these areas but need your assistance. Please do not make it easy for the criminals:
Lock cars; do not leave valuables in plain view.
Secure scooters or bring them indoors.
Report suspicious activity or people.
Current Focus Areas North:
2900 block of Mission Rd
2700 block of W Tharpe St1800 blk Ivan Dr
1800 block of Aaron Dr
1800 block of Devra Dr
2000 block of Scenic Rd
1300 block of California St
800-1000 block of Basin St
1600 block of W Call St
1800 block of Miccosukee Rd
1100 block of Buckingham Dr
800 block of Timberview Dr
2200 block of Shirley Ann Ct
Current Focus Areas South:
300 block of Hayden Rd
800 block of Mabry St
900 lock of Bald Eagle Run
2400 block of Jackson Bluff Rd
2700 block of W Pensacola St
300 block of Ridge Rd
200 block of E. Fleetwood St
4200 block of Weatherby Ct
the Chief’s Blog. This will be my first of what I hope to be many blogs where I
will share timely information with you in an effort to keep you aware of what
is going on crime-wise both on campus and where you live.
we are entering into the beginning of summer and as of yet, no real crime
patterns or trends are yet emerging. Prevention is always the best plan. Keep track of your belongings and your surroundings. Sadly, some of the people on campus are not
here for an education, but may be here to make a few bucks at your
expense. Besides keeping tracks of your
valuables, if you see someone acting suspiciously, say something to them, call
TCC PD or utilize Silent Witness via
our website. Your fellow students will
appreciate you looking out for them. I
assure you, if a criminal believes each and every one of us will not tolerate crime,
they will go somewhere else where is easier to offend.
Off Campus, the latest areas for you
to take extra precautions are:
- Auto Burglaries
- 2700 block W. Pensacola St.
- 3000 block McCord Blvd.
- 3000-3100 blocks N. Fulmer Cir.
- 3100 block Huntington Woods Blvd.
- 1100 block Ocala Rd.
- 1300 block Ocala Rd.
- (These crimes are usually committed during late night and early morning
- Residential Burglaries
- 1900 block Gina Dr.
- 2200 block Hartsfield Way
- 2400 block Hartsfield Rd.
- 2000 block Old St. Augustine Rd.
- 400 block Omega Dr.
- 3400 block Mizzell Dr.
- (These crimes are committed mostly during the daytime hours.)
and auto burglaries are a persistent problem in these areas. Please ensure you lock your vehicles and do
not leave valuables in your vehicles. The same goes for apartments and homes. Lock
your doors and keep your roommates informed of any visitors that might come by.
Keep good inventories of your valuables including photos and serial numbers if
possible. Back-up copies of these
records are always a good idea.
If you would
like any additional safety information, feel free to contact me via email or
speak with any of our TCCPD officers at (850)201-6100.
As Chief of Police for Tallahassee Community College, it is my duty to protect and serve, but I also believe it is my duty to help the campus thrive. Creating a safe community where we can work together to cultivate a healthy, productive learning environment is my main goal. I want to get everyone thinking about safety and success.
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