2011 TC Pressroom
Teachers College, Columbia University
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Safety and Security Committee at TC

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Safety and Security Committee at TC

James Mitchell and Brian Madden.

Security is an issue that has been on everyone's minds lately. However, it has always been a priority at Teachers College.

To keep everyone at TC safe, TC has established a Safety and Security Committee. Over the past few months, it has been evaluating emergency procedures for fire safety and evacuation on campus. It has also looked at access control and perimeter security and what security can do to enhance what's already in place.

The Committee members include Madhabi Chatterji, Associate Professor of Measurement, Evaluation and Education, who also represents the Faculty Executive Committee; Robin Engels, Project Coordinator in Arts and Humanities; Brian Madden, Chief of Campus Safety and Security; James Mitchell, Director of Residence Halls; Archie McAllister, Director of Facilities; Kathleen O'Connell Professor of Nursing Education; and Janice Robinson, Assistant and Special Counsel to the President on Diversity.

"One of the goals of the committee is to develop building-by-building evacuation plans that show where everyone should go when the fire bells ring," said Mitchell. "Each floor will have a Fire Marshall who will meet with everyone on the floor and perform head counts once everyone is outside."

Over the past several weeks, there have been fire alarm bell tests in the academic and residential buildings. All bell tests have been completed and the systems are functioning normally, said Mitchell. Therefore, if you hear the fire alarm bells, you should evacuate the building.

Safety and Security is about to launch a new Web site with organizational charts, emergency procedures and links to other helpful sites.

Currently, Teachers College security officers are on patrol 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Located within the 26th precinct of New York City Police Department, TC security works cooperatively with them as well as other institutional security offices in the area, like Columbia University and Union Theological Seminary.

To enhance the security at TC, the Security Office is working with a consulting firm, Aggleton and Associates, whose final report will be done in December. "Part of their job will be to evaluate existing plans and to show how to improve them," said Mitchell. "The consultants have already begun to meet with students, faculty and staff members to hear their comments and concerns."

Although there are some aspects that will change, many of the current systems that are in place work very well such as the door entry and the key track system, said Madden.

"Some new things are being tested out right now," said Madden. "For example there is a new digital camera system in Bancroft Hall that shows who comes in and out and monitors vulnerable areas in the backyard."

The Safety and Security Committee reminds everyone to update their TC identification cards for access to the buildings. Anyone who would like to meet with the consultants can contact Brian Madden at x3098 to set up an appointment.

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