SWFL schools address security concerns

Published: Updated:
FSW campus police chief Rick Parfitt

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Officials at Florida SouthWestern State College and Florida Gulf Coast University are confident they’re prepared to handle a situation akin to Monday’s attack at that left 11 injured at Ohio State.

Technology is a key part of the security plans at both schools. FGCU has a video on its website that shows what to do in a dangerous situation. Information about any threat at FSW would go out to students via text message, voice message, email and a system that takes over computer work stations on campus, campus police chief Rick Parfitt said.

“You dont want to create panic, but you want to notify the campus well in advance of a potential problem,” Parfitt said.

Student cooperation is vital to help head off trouble before it happens, according to Parfitt.

“I think the biggest change is we want to identity the dangerous people before they show up,” Parfitt said.

Parfitt recommends a “see something, say something” policy for anyone on campus. FSW student Laura Herrera is on board.

“I feel like some people might just see it and ignore it, but I think that’s the biggest issue,” Herrera said. “You should definitely tell someone about it.”

Security on the FSW campus isn’t hard to find, student Ruthie Spurlock said.

“You always see them around doing their rounds, trying to protect their students, making sure nothing happens here,” Spurlock said.

Many FSW officers are armed. Students at Florida colleges and universities aren’t allowed to have guns in the classroom, but they can get training for emergency situations via campus police departments.


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