SCHOOL SAFETY: College seeks support for security contest
Published 4:19 pm Wednesday, January 28, 2015
A local school needs support from the community as it competes against other schools nationwide to win $100,000 in security equipment to make its campus as safe as possible.
Beaufort County Community College has been announced as a finalist in STANLEY Security’s Together for Safer Schools grant program. The college could win up to $100,000 in STANLEY Security installed products and services to help secure students and facilities within the campus environment if it receives enough votes of support, said Sara Singleton, grant writer and coordinator of special projects at BCCC.
Singleton said she worked closely with BCCC Campus Police Chief Chris Harrison to compile the school’s nomination form, addressing the campus’ security needs. When the college requested it be made eligible for the competition, Singleton and other school officials determined STANLEY’s products would meet its safety needs, Singleton said.
“This is especially important for smaller colleges because it gives us a way to update our facilities in ways that traditional budgets don’t allow,” Singleton said. “If we were to win, they give $100,000 worth of products to meet the needs of the school.”
Singleton said the top two colleges or universities with the most votes in each of three size categories will be chose as grant winners: one winning $100,000 of STANLEY products; and one runner-up school winning a prize of $25,000 in products. BCCC is competing in a bracket of schools that are considered to be tier-1, or those with up to 8,000 students. However, BCCC has only 2,000 students, making the competition even stiffer, Singleton said.
Should the college win, the grant can be used for any STANLEY Security products, technologies, solutions, services and installations, which can include video surveillance, electronic access control, intrusion detection, fire detection, software solutions and support, panic buttons, key storage solutions and many more items, according to a BCCC press release.
Singleton said the school has identified several campus security needs, including keypad locks for its buildings and updating software used by campus police to carry out duties like documenting police reports. The college also needs to update its video surveillance equipment. Though safe, the equipment is aging and the system is limiting the potential growth of the college, Singleton said.
“All of these are things that are ideal, and it’s just a way to make sure our facility, staff and students are safe when they’re here,” Singleton said. “We have existing video surveillance equipment, but it’s aging and the system is starting to be strained by what we are doing with it. It’s sufficient and safe, but we’re at the point where we cannot grow anymore with the existing system. We need to get a larger system. Because we are such a small school compared to those we are competing against, that’s why we need support from the community.”
According to the release, voting is open through 11:59 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 13 and students, faculty, administrators, parents, alumni and members of the community can vote for BCCC daily. The school code/keyword is bcccedu, and there are three ways to vote: by visiting http://www.stanleysaferschools.com and clicking on the “Vote Now” tab and type in Beaufort County Community College in the field that asks for the name of the school; texting bcccedu to 334455; or by Tweeting using hashtags #STANLEYSecurity and #bcccedu. People are encouraged to vote every day, and winners will be notified in March, the release said.