March 16, 2018 – Wednesday morning, in an attempt to alert students, faculty and staff to be on the lookout for the suspect of an armed robbery that had taken place on the perimeter of our campus, Santa Fe College activated the Emergency Notification System (ENS). What was intended to be a “non-emergency” series of messages were initially and accidentally coded as an “emergency,” then quickly corrected. These messages were also deployed during the period of time that corresponded with a 17-minute National School Walkout event when many on campus – including our dual enrollment students – were silently gathered to show respect for the lives that were lost one month prior in the Stoneman Douglas High School mass shooting. It is truly regrettable that the timing and turbulent deployment of the college ENS system caused additional stress, anxiety and confusion for anyone on campus Wednesday morning. However, the safety concern was real and use of the system was necessary.
The purpose of our Emergency Notification System is to issue timely warnings in an attempt to notify the entire college community of safety concerns, including severe weather, fire, active threats, chemical spills and travel advisories. Depending on the circumstances, this may include any combination of computer pop-ups, a banner across the college website, voicemails, text messages, emails and even an audible siren. The system is routinely managed, updated and tested with coordination between the SFPD, ITS and CCS departments.
Santa Fe College has the oldest and largest police department in the Florida State College system. We have been nationally recognized for our comprehensive safety resources, programs and training across campus. Our See Something, Say Something policy has been very successful in engaging students, faculty and staff to play their part in keeping everyone on campus safe.
We are always looking for ways improve on safety, and feedback on Wednesday morning’s messaging will be further discussed and considered. If you are further experiencing anxiety, please contact the Counseling Center for support options.
As always, report suspicious behaviors, conditions, and incidents by phone to police. For emergencies, if you are off-campus or at one of our centers, call 911. If you are on the Northwest Campus and have an emergency, call 352-395-5555 for immediate police response. For all non-emergencies, all campuses can call 352-395-5519 for the Santa Fe College Police Department.
Stay safe, Saints.