The safety of students, faculty, and staff is a fundamental concern of officials at Northeast Alabama Community College (NACC). According to NACC President Dr. David Campbell, the campus police staff does outstanding work. “Our staff are always available to assist both students and staff members, and they are trained and qualified for any situation,” Campbell said. “Each staff member is a licensed police officer,” Campbell added. “Each one has experience working for a city or county police department.”
During the closure and limited opening of the campus this fall due to coronavirus, Northeast police officers have become even more important in monitoring the campus. Police officers are now on the campus seven days a week.
The staff is made up of Police Chief Van McAlpin and full-time officer David Snay. Former Police Chief Norman Smith works part-time for the department, along with officers Danny Miller, Josh Wigley, Greg Works, and Steven Whited.
“Mr. Smith retired last year as our Police Chief and after a job search, I named Mr. McAlpin the new Police Chief,” Campbell noted. “Both are outstanding police officers and they have put together a fantastic part-time staff to fill in time gaps.” NACC Police officers keep their license up to date and receive yearly professional development training.
Campbell noted that the college does all it can to keep the police department well equipped. This year, for example, the college acquired a new police patrol car for the officers. “We want them to be as effective as possible in doing their job,” said Campbell. NACC consistently has a very low crime rate on campus. “Northeast is characterized by having very good and polite students, faculty, and staff. Visitors to our campus notice this,” Campbell stated. “But in this day and age where anything can happen at any place or time, we want the NACC community to have the best protection available”
Campus Police provide services to students and staff, such as starting the cars of students who are having battery problems, or shutting off a computer for a staff or faculty member who has left campus, or even keeping a watchful eye out for Roscoe the campus dog. “The police often feed him on the weekend,” Campbell noted. “And he is always so excited when they are around!”
The NACC police are served by cameras on campus as well. Northeast has made a great investment not only in educational technology, but security technology as well. NACC Educational Technology Director Patricia Falk says last year the college spent $69,000 to upgrade the college security system. “This included a new software management system, a recorder, and the purchase of 24 additional cameras bringing the total number of cameras on campus to 67,” said Falk.
She also noted that this year 21 additional cameras are being installed at a cost of $50,055. “Security cameras are located throughout campus – outside buildings, inside buildings, and in parking lots. Our Nature/Walking Trails even has cameras on it!” she added.
Mrs. Falk, and her technology staff (Lee Garret and Kyle Ealy) maintain the camera system and adjust them if there is a problem. NACC Police Officers monitor them as well. The system is so up to date that Dr. Campbell can also watch the monitors at home or on his cell phone. The Northeast Maintenance Department also helps ETS with the infrastructure of the security system.
“I am really proud of the camera system that we have,” Campbell stated. “Mrs. Falk and staff are state-of-the art in recommending equipment for the college to purchase. Their skills, along with the expertise of our police, gives us a security system like few others.”
Campbell concluded by saying that the primary mission of NACC is to provide educational services, but that college officials want students and staff to be as safe and secure as possible while that educational process is taking place. “Students, their families, and the community should expect nothing less than that,” Campbell added. “We like to think that we certainly provide that safety and security and will continue to strive to achieve it.”