The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

TCC police tout proactive response, environmental measures

By Angel Carr/reporter

Citations, traffic stops, unlocks and escorts are a fraction of what the TCC police department is all about.

“We have a proactive approach and not a reactive approach,” Chief Frank Buchanan said.

With the rising number of college campus shootings and lockdowns nationally, TCC police officers have gone through extensive active shooter training.

“The unfortunate problem we have these days is active shooter situations,” said TR crime prevention officer Jennifer Hernandez. “A big service we provide is to be trained in responding to these situations. A video is online to help people understand what to do if a situation occurs.”

As a crime prevention officer, Hernandez researches and reviews past crimes to prevent new ones from occurring. 

Awareness is another goal of TCC police. Officers make various presentations to educate the college community.

Spotlight On is a presentation which highlights a particular crime or problem and show ways to combat the problem,” Hernandez said,

Bike patrol is one of the many services available to the TCC community.

“The most important benefit is that the bike officer is more approachable, and they help create a better public image,” said Cpl. Greg Bowen, personnel and recruiting officer. “Most people do not want to walk up to a patrol car and socialize with a police officer, but while patrolling on a bike, everyone wants to talk to you.”

Bowen said students often consider officers on bikes as friendlier and less intimidating.

“You get to know more of the students, faculty and staff on your campus than you would if you were sitting in a patrol car with the windows rolled up and the A/C running,” he said.

“As a result, the bike removes these barriers, and people become more willing to share information with you that may be useful in solving crimes and creating a safer environment.”

Bike patrols have an environmental benefit as well, Bowen said.

“Bikes do not create any emissions,” he said. “This helps TCC achieve its goal of going green.”

The government offers grants to schools that prove they are improving air quality.

“These funds can benefit the college community by allowing TCC to offer scholarships or additional programs,” Bowen said.

The bike officer can go where a patrol car cannot go, Bowen said.

Furthermore, when the members of the college community see bike officers around the buildings, courtyards, sidewalks and areas such as these, they feel safe, Bowen said.

“When the criminals are conducting their business, they are on the lookout for a patrol car, not a police officer on a bike,” he said. “A bike officer has a better chance of rolling up on a crime in progress than an officer in a car.”

The district complies with and has developed programs through in-depth training for the Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act, which requires sex offenders to register with the institution.

According to the Sex Crimes Prevention Act of 2002, members of the college may obtain Texas Department of Public Safety information concerning sex offenders employed, enrolled or volunteering at TCC by contacting the police department located on each campus.

TCC also has a victim assistance program that provides services to victims and their family members. The victim assistance at TCC was formed to help victims and their families deal with the trauma of being a victim of crime. Information and referral to local resources and services are available through the campus police departments.

As another part of her job, Hernandez created a brochure (What is Domestic Violence?) to help people recognize the differences between domestic violence and family violence.

“I put the domestic violence brochures in main restrooms for privacy because most people who want that type of information are reluctant to look for it in open areas such as the police department lobby or the open hallways that brochures are usually displayed,” she said.

More information about crime at TCC can be obtained in the Annual Security Report available in the police department on each campus.

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