First in public safety

Emergency phone

There are phones located all throughout the WCC campus and can be used to directly call the security office in case of an emergency. This specific phone is located on the first floor of the TI building. Photo by Andrei Pop.

by Becky Gordon

Staff Writer

There’s been an emergency: you walk up to your car and see a nice new dent there. Or someone runs off with your backpack. Or worst of all, your classmate, your friend, just collapsed.

What do you do?

Washtenaw Community College’s chief of public safety and emergency management, Scott Hilden, wants you to call the schools public safety department first.

“As a general rule, I think that contacting us first is probably the best course of action,” Hilden said.

Why public safety and not 911?

“Our staff is trained for emergency first response,” Hilden said.

Additionally, campus security knows the layout of the campus. You’ve seen them cruising around in those white Ford Escapes, clearly outfitted with yellow and green WCC Campus security decals.

They’ll be there faster than anyone.

The campus is also liberally covered in outdoor emergency phone locations, 11 total on campus. Indoor “house” phones that can be used by students to contact the public safety office are scattered throughout buildings on campus.

Each phone is labeled with instructions to reach WCC’s public safety office.

A new development in public safety on campus is the addition of a dedicated police presence, which Hilden said the school is in the process of completing.

“We’re able to handle emergency situations on campus from a threat or a danger standpoint, much better than we were able to two months ago,” said Hilden.

Once fully staffed with four officers, Hilden and three others, WCC will maintain coverage on campus of at least one officer during normal school hours.

“So calling us first, we’ll be able to get that law enforcement help on the way, right away,” said Hilden.

The public safety offices at WCC are located on the second floor of the Student Center, and the second level of the parking structure. Each emergency phone can dial 3411 to be connected to public safety personnel. Dial 734-973-3411 on a cell phone in case of an emergency.

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