Police share campus safety tips

The Black Hawk College Police Department has tips to share and resources to offer to help keep you safe on campus.

Both campuses have a police presence 24/7, 365 days a year. Mutual aid agreements also allow BHC police to get assistance from other police departments when needed.

Corporal Chris Fiems spoke at the Quad-Cities Campus Student Government Association Black Hawk College Police Corporal presenting to a group of students sitting at desksInter-Club Council meeting this month about keeping safe on campus.

His overall message was that BHC Police Department’s purpose is to help. “We are here for our students, faculty and staff,” he said.

The mission of the BHC Police Department is to support the college’s educational mission by providing a safe and peaceful learning community.

Fortunately, violent crime is very rare at Black Hawk College, he said.

In addition to investigating reports of crime, BHC police officers respond to medical calls, handle lost and found, and issue parking passes and tickets.

If you ever lose something, visit the police department and see if that item is waiting for you. If not, you can leave your information in case it turns up.

“You’d be amazed by the number of things that get turned into us,” Fiems said.

A general safety tip Fiems shared is to pay attention to your surroundings. When walking across a parking lot, keep your focus on where you are walking instead of looking at your phone.

If you feel uncomfortable walking to your car alone, visit the police department. An officer will escort you to your car.

The police will also help you with a jump start or with calling a tow truck if you are having vehicle problems.

Students are encouraged to register their contact information with BHC’s 3N Emergency Notification System.

To register, log into myBlackHawk then click on the Student tab. Look for the Emergency Notification channel and click to enroll or update contact information.

When it comes to alarms, take them seriously, including scheduled drills. They will help prepare you for situations where evacuation or sheltering is needed.

Designated severe weather shelter areas are in each building, but if you are not able to get to a designated area, Fiems offered these tips:

  • Get to the lowest floor in the building.
  • Go to the middle of that floor.
  • Stay away from windows.

Following these tips will help keep you as safe as possible until the severe weather event ends.

To prepare people for the possibility of violent intruders, BHC police teach groups about A.L.I.C.E. (Alert-Lockdown-Inform-Counter-Evacuate).

“We don’t just teach lockdown,” Fiems said. “You’re looking to buy time or you’re looking to gain distance.”

Black Hawk Police EmblemInstead of passively waiting in a locked room, A.L.I.C.E. teaches people to leave if possible. If remaining in place is safest or only possibility, do so, but also barricade yourself into the room.

At that point, you might be able to evacuate out of a window.

The counter portion means lashing out at the intruder if you come into direct contact. Examples include throwing items at him or her to slow them down or attacking to incapacitate them.

Those interested can get more information about A.L.I.C.E. by contacting the police department.

Contact BHC police for non-urgent matters at 309-796-5913 for the Quad-Cities Campus or 309-854-1784 for the East Campus.

“If you need help with something, call us,” Fiems said.

Suspicious activity or any concerns are other reasons to call.

Even if you unsure if police can help you, Fiems said you should call – if the department is unable to help you, they will get you headed in the right direction.

In case of emergency, always call 911. Your call will go through the dispatch service which means getting help as quickly as possible.