13.8 Institutional Environment

The institution takes reasonable steps to provide a healthy, safe, and secure environment for all members of the campus community. (Institutional Environment).

 Compliance   ____Non-Compliance


The health, safety, and security of students, faculty, staff, and visitors are of the greatest importance to St. Petersburg College. Reasonable steps to provide a healthy, safe and secure environment for all are achieved through comprehensive safety and security plans that include inspections, training, and communication with constituents.

Administrative Responsibility

Under the purview of the Vice-President of Finance and Business Operations, who reports to the College President, administrative responsibility for health, safety, and security functions is assigned to the Director of Safety and Security, who also serves as the College’s Safety Officer, and the Director of Emergency Management.  These two offices are responsible for the day-to-day administration of the College’s Security, Risk Management, and Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) programs.  Management, coordination, and implementation of EHS programs and training are the responsibilities of the Risk Management Specialist.

Institutional Safety Plan

St. Petersburg College has a comprehensive safety plan, which all faculty, staff, and students are expected to follow. College employees are responsible for practicing safe work habits and are expected to refuse work that cannot be performed by using commonly recognized safe procedures. Employees and students are expected to report all accidents, injuries, and unsafe conditions. Employees should report safety concerns to their supervisor, the Campus Provost, or Facilities personnel. Students should report safety concerns to their Professor, Security, or Campus Provost. The Safety and Security webpage also provides directions on how to report incidents of crime, sexual misconduct or harassment.

The College’s Safety Plan includes the Emergency Management Plan, College Procedures and Policies, Emergency Communications Plan, Emergency Drills, Emergency Alert System, and System, Safety Inspections, Campus Security, and Training.

Emergency Management Plan

The Emergency Management Plan  (EMP)  guides the emergency response of College personnel and resources during an emergency. It is the official emergency response plan of the institution and is based on the principle that the College will bear the initial responsibility for disaster relief for the College. Also, the EMP establishes policies, procedures, and organizational structure for response to human and natural emergencies that are of sufficient magnitude to cause a disruption of college/campus functions.  The emergency procedures are designed to protect lives and property through the effective use of college/campus and community resources. These procedures are designed to be flexible in order to accommodate various types and magnitudes of emergencies.

The College’s EMP consists of the following elements:

  1. Emergency Management Council
  2. Campus Emergency Management Plans
  3. College-wide and Departmental Continuity of Operation Plans
  4. Incident Response Team

The EMP is consistent with established National Incident Management System practices for coordination of emergency response. Accordingly, the EMP incorporates the use of the Incident Command System (ICS) to facilitate interagency coordination, promote the use of common emergency response terminology and command structure, and facilitate the flow of information between responding agencies. The ICS is designed for the management of all hazards and levels of emergency response. This system creates a combination of facilities, equipment, personnel, procedures, and communication operating within a standardized organizational structure. The system is used by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and by emergency agencies throughout the United States for the management of emergency response. Use of the ICS at the college/campus facilitates the college’s/campus’s ability to communicate and coordinate response actions with local, state, and federal emergency response agencies.

The EMP contains incident response plans and checklists that are organized by various emergency/disaster events and provides action steps to be taken by the initial responders.  It also outlines the requirements for periodic testing of all emergency alarm systems, the implementation of emergency evacuation drills at all College sites, and the development of evacuation floor plans for all buildings.  Also, an Emergency Response Guide, which provides a quick reference format of critical information contained in the EMP, is posted in classrooms, libraries, common areas, and office areas for use by students and visitors.  In addition, the Emergency Preparedness brochure is provided to all employees during orientation and is posted in classrooms and various campus locations.

There are three types of emergencies specified in the EMP:

Type 1 – Disaster

A disaster is an event that seriously impairs or stops the operations of the college or a campus. Examples would be a hurricane, a damaging tornado, or other community-wide emergencies. The event would likely disable college/campus operations for at least 24 hours and outside emergency services would not always be available.

  • The EMP would be fully activated.  Most if not all department plans would be activated, and outside emergency services and other agencies will likely be involved at some point.
Type 2 – Emergency

An emergency is a serious event that disrupts one or more operations of the college or a campus. Multiple college or campus resources would be required. Examples would be a building fire, a civil disturbance, or a widespread power outage of an extended duration that would require assistance from emergency services or other outside agencies.

  • The EMP would be activated to the extent necessary to handle the emergency and the Incident Response Team (IRT) responds.  Affected department plans are activated and emergency services or other outside agencies may be required.
Type 3 – Minor Incident

A minor incident is a local event with limited impact, which does not affect the overall function of the college or a campus.  Examples would be a contained hazardous material spill incident or a limited power outage. The initial responders and security typically handle the situation.

  • The EMP would not be activated, and the IRT does not respond.

The EMP is promulgated under the authority of the President (Board of Trustees Rule 6Hx23-1.23). All decisions concerning the discontinuation of College functions, cancellation of classes, or cessation of operations rest with the President or designee. After consulting with the College Incident Commander and the Emergency Management Council, the President or designee shall be responsible for the decision to declare a major emergency or disaster.

Emergency Management Council

Under advisement from the Florida Gubernatorial Task Force for Campus Safety, St. Petersburg College created an Emergency Management Council (EMC). The  EMC is responsible for reviewing the EMP at least annually, and as appropriate, following an event that requires activation of the plan. As such, the EMC meets throughout the year to discuss, review, revise, and implement campus safety policies and procedures, such as – updating and posting emergency response guides on all sites, training threat assessment teams on each campus, implementing training, making emergency information available to students, training incident response teams, and establishing and testing the SPC Alert System.  All materials concerning the EMC are located on the SPC SharePoint site for easy access by employees.

Campus Emergency Management Plan (CEMP)

Each campus is responsible for developing a CEMP for the purpose of emergency response, which includes departmental plans identifying key personnel, contact numbers, and emergency response guidelines that consider the uniqueness and staffing level of each campus.

College-wide and Departmental Continuity of Operation Plans

The College submits a master Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) to the state each year that outlines the specific policies, procedures, and guidelines that the College will use to maintain continuity of operations following any incident which disrupts the normal business continuity of the College.

In addition, to ensure that the College can minimize the impact of any natural or man-made disaster or threat, each campus along with specific departments, are required to keep and update a Continuity of Operation Plan (COOP).  Each COOP outlines the specific policies, procedures, and guidelines to maintain the continuity of operations following any incident, which disrupts the normal business continuity. The COOP includes, but is not limited to, the identification of key personnel, suppliers, utility providers, contractors, and other resources that will enable the College to respond effectively in the event of a disaster.  The COOP contains material that documents the College’s emergency response plans and is sensitive in nature and considered exempt from disclosure under Florida’s public records laws (see examples below)

Incident Response Team

The Incident Response Team (IRT) is organized under the ICS system and led by the Incident Commander.  The team is responsible for implementing the EMP during an emergency.   The IRT is comprised of management personnel representing areas of the college or campus that have critical responsibilities within the EMP.

Emergency Management Plan
Following the EMP

Since the last submission to SACSCOC, two major types of incidents have occurred, which have required implementation of the EMP: hurricanes and the COVID-19 pandemic.  Below are examples of event timelines, which define meetings, communications, and trainings that occurred during these situations.

In addition, following major events, the Director of Emergency Management collects data from across the college to determine any improvements that can be made. Attached is an example from recent Hurricane Ian in the Fall of 2022.

Governing Policies and Procedures

The College has established a college-wide Safety and Health Policy Statement, and several policies and procedures have been implemented to comply with the many federal, state, and local EHS regulations.


  • 6Hx23-1.23     Emergency Action Plan – Authorizes the establishment of the Emergency Management Council and development of the Emergency Action plan.
  • P6Hx23-1.231  Procedures for Emergencies – Establishes procedures for the protection of life and property when threatened by emergencies.
  • 6Hx23-1.232   Policy for Threats, Violence, Stalking and/or Use or Possession of Explosives, Destructive Devices, Firearms and/or Weapons, etc. – Describes the College policy and exceptions for firearms and weapons on campus and campus events. (along with associated procedure P6Hx23-1.232)
  • 6Hx23-1.37   Smoking in College Facilities – Prohibits the smoking of tobacco in an educational facility or common area.
  • P6Hx23-1.91  Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) – Provides a framework for the protection of students and employees infected with the HIV virus and for other students and employees.
  • P6Hx23-2.02  Drug-Free Campus and Workplace – Describes the Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Program
  • 6Hx23-2.903   Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tagout) – Prevents injuries or deaths caused by the unexpected start-up or energizing of machinery or equipment.
  • 6Hx23-2.904   Respiratory Protection Program – Protects employees from respiratory hazards.
  • 6Hx23-2.905   Bloodborne Pathogens Exposure Control Plan – Protects College employees from occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens.
  • 6Hx23-4.351 / P6Hx23-4.351 Threat Assessment – Establishes procedures and protocols to assess whether a student poses a threat of targeted violence to others or him/herself.


Part I: Signatures Attesting to Integrity

Part II: Institutional Summary Form Prepared for Commission Reviews

Part III: Fifth-Year Compliance Certification

Part IV: Follow-Up Report (not applicable)

Part V: Impact Report of the Quality Enhancement Plan

Supporting Documentation

In addition, SPC uses a wide range of safety guides, manuals, and videos to assist SPC staff and students in maintaining a safe environment (examples below):

Crisis Communication Plan

SPC has created a comprehensive emergency notification plan for all College constituents defined in the Emergency Management Plan and outlined on the College emergency alert website with the notification protocols downloadable from that page.  It utilizes indoor and outdoor technologies, along with electronic messaging services.  All students and staff are trained to provide their primary contact device to receive all College notifications.

SPC has several outlets to deploy emergency messaging to its constituents.  All students, except those in Dual Enrolled courses that take place on a high school campus, would receive these messages. High school campus-based Dual Enrolled students are highly encouraged to opt into the School Messenger app, which would allow them to receive emergency messages as well. Regardless, high school campus Dual Enrolled students receive messaging from their high school in event of an emergency.

In the event of an emergency, one or all of these systems may be employed:

  • SPC Homepage – the College’s main website is the official source of College information regarding the status of the institution, and updates on all College alerts are kept on the Emergency Preparedness Blog.
  • SPC Email
  • InformaCast – a system that has the capability to quickly broadcast notices, warnings, and alerts using IP telephones, computers, and broadcast speakers without delay
  • School Messenger – has the capability to quickly broadcast notices, warnings, and alerts using email, home phones, and cell phones (opt-in)
  • SPCAlert on all networked computers (bulk email).
  • SPC Computer Monitor Announcements
  • Fire Alarms
  • Enhanced 911 system
  • Social Networks

When tests of the Crisis Communication Plan occur, the Director of Emergency Management always sends a follow-up email to the College community noting the results of the test and any issues that need to be mitigated for the future. Below is an example message with test results.


Alert Test System Screenshot

In addition, the EMC distributes Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) information and bulletins to supervisors college-wide, providing updates and guidance regarding a variety of issues that may impact employees, students, and departmental operations (sample start of semester email and return from COVID email).  EHS information which affects all employees is also provided periodically in the Blue and White, the College’s weekly newsletter.  The EMC also schedules speakers and trainers on subjects like personal safety and victimization, rape, crime prevention, and asset protection, in addition to providing term-based emails making College employees and students aware of sexual predators or Sexual Offenders currently enrolled or working at SPC.

Effectiveness of Crisis Communication

The EMC has proven to be effective in disseminating information during a variety of crises.  Most recently the EMC was used to inform students, faculty, and staff regarding the approach of two Hurricanes during the 2022 hurricane season that affected the Tampa Bay Area.  Information is provided to the College community when it becomes available from federal, state, and local authorities regarding track and intensity forecasts, evacuation information, and College closing and reopening information. Providing clear, accurate, and timely communication keeps the College community informed and safe prior to, during, and after any hurricane and other crises. Below are some sample communications:

  • June 2022 – 2022 Hurricane Preparedness Email Sent
  • September 24 – Reminder of Hurricane Preparedness and the start of Hurricane Ian
  • September 24 – County update on hurricane progress (these go out 2-3 times a day)
  • September 26 – Campus closure email
  • September 29 – Email from the President after Hurricane Ian
  • October 3 – Hurricane Ian After Action report which notes the effectiveness of communication
COVID-19 Mitigation

The College’s Emergency Management Council, made up of leaders in all functional areas throughout the College, is tasked with monitoring and managing health and safety concerns, including the COVID-19 outbreak.  Throughout the pandemic to the present, the EMC remains in contact with local and state health and emergency management officials, as well as the Florida College System and the Florida Department of Education to ensure the most up-to-date safety procedure information is provided to College constituents. Information regarding College closings and re-openings, COVID-19 mitigation procedures, population infection reports, and social distancing reminders and other information was made available on the College’s original COVID-19 website, current SPC Updates website, via the Come Back Plan website (also linked from the syllabus addendum for students and faculty), as well as various college presentations to inform and protect the College community.

The work of the Emergency Management Council during the COVID-19 pandemic allowed for safe and secure student advising through the College’s Virtual Advising Center. Services such as tutoring and learning resources, access to the College libraries, and College events and activities were made available online and in person during the pandemic. A COVID-19 symptom checker, found on the SPC Updates website, continues to provide students, faculty, and staff the resource to assess whether they have COVID-19 symptoms and if it is safe to report to work or class. The EMC meets after each semester to assess the processes being used to determine any changes that need to be made moving forward. It is during these semester-based meetings that the effectiveness of processes and communications is discussed as shown in the Spring 2020 slide deck.

Safety Training and Dissemination of Materials/Procedures

The College utilizes several safety notification systems and provides ongoing training for its employees and students throughout the year.

Emergency Alert System

The Emergency Management Plan includes the use of the SPCAlert Emergency Notification System.  SPCAlert is used to alert individuals that an emergency condition exists, which threatens health and safety and provides protective action recommendations without delay.  The offices of Marketing and Strategic Communications, College-wide Security Services, and Emergency Management conducts ongoing test procedures both announced and unannounced.   Announced testing is sent through all-college email and posted in the SPC news source, the Blue and White.  Records of all alert testing are kept by the Safety and Security department explaining the purpose, systems tested, results, and recommendations (see January 23, 2023 test results as an example). The last test conducted of SPCAlert Emergency Notification System was on January 23, 2023, at 1:30 p.m.

Security Alert ICONS

In addition, Security Alert ICONS have been installed on classroom and office computers in case of emergencies.  Upon activation, the alert is sent to pre-designated Security Officers, where the message “security alert activated in room XXX” is displayed. Testing of the Alert ICON is conducted monthly, and a log is kept. Provosts are requested to review the Security Alert ICONS system with faculty at the beginning of each semester at their welcome back meetings.  Faculty are instructed to turn on the classroom computer to access the Security Alert ICON.  The security officers periodically verify with faculty and campus administration that the system is accessible.

Ongoing Training

Annual security training is provided for all employees to help ensure employees understand safety protocols and procedures.  Each year, a wide variety of drills and exercises are conducted to ensure that the College remains in a state of preparedness for emergency situations. Information about these trainings are provided in New Employee Orientations, via emails, in the Blue and White. Training records for facilities staff are maintained by Safety & Security/Facilities, and Human Resources maintains records for all other employees. Examples of these trainings are below:

  • Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate (ALICE) Training has certified trainers from the security department who conduct ALICE training to students during the first weeks of the semester, during the College-wide Professional Development day, and to staff when requested. Security is also active in both student orientation and staff/faculty new hire orientation and share information at these events.
  • Active Shooter training is provided on an ongoing schedule and is always mentioned in the start of term emails sent to staff and faculty. Guidelines can be found on the Campus Security- Active Shooter website on how to access the “Run, Hide, Fight” YouTube video.
  • Threat Assessment Training is presented to campus Threat Assessment Team members at the beginning of the fall semester. As part of the College’s EMP, each campus develops a Threat Assessment Team, approved by the General Counsel’s office, who are trained using procedures developed by the Department of Education and Secret Service to conduct a review of student behavior in a series of given situations per the Threat Assessment Manual.
  • Campus Evacuation Video trains employees to know their primary and secondary evacuation routes from the building. SPC employees watch and discuss these procedures during New Employee Orientation. Continuous access is provided on the Campus Safety website, and additional college-wide trainings are provided during the college professional day, Discovery Day, as well as upon request.
  • Shelter in Place and Reporting Suspicious Behavior procedures are located in the Emergency Response Guide and are shared in the start of term email from Emergency Management and on the campus safety website, with training provided ongoing as needed to different College departments.
  • Security Services overview can be found on the Campus Safety website and provides basic safety suggestions for employees and students.

In addition to college-wide safety training, individual departments and teams receive additional safety and security trainings pertaining to their roles at the college.  Examples are shown below.

  • Security Staff  – receives training in excess of 24 hours annually.  Included in this training is Incident Response, De-escalation, Interview Techniques, report writing, Emergency Response, as well as the National Incident Management System (NIMS).   Officers also receive in service training to update them on procedural changes and developments.
  • Incident Response Teams – established on each campus site and trained in the Incident Command System utilizing tabletop and simulated drills. Teams meet annually and go over procedures.
  • Student Training – available online through the “Overview of the SPC Emergency Management Plan,” the Emergency Response Guide, and the “Shots Fired on Campus” video located on the internal student site MySPC.
  • Custodial, Fleet Services, Landscape, Maintenance and Security Staff – scheduled to receive bloodborne pathogens (BBP) training within 10 days of hire date and Hazard Communication (HAZCOM) training within 30 days of hire date. All new employees sign and receive a copy of Bloodborne Pathogens – Exposure Control at the new employee orientation session.  Facilities employees also receive annual BBP and HAZCOM training.
  • Indoor Firing Range Employees – receive initial and annual hazardous lead waste management training. In addition, those that are expected to wear respiratory protection receive initial training and ongoing training as necessary, a respirator medical evaluation, training and respirator fit testing. All respirator users are issued a copy of the SPC Respirator User’s Manual, which is used for training and daily reference.
  • Employees and Faculty – complete the required online training Overview of SPC Emergency Management Plan and ICS System located in MySPC as part of their onboarding.

Safety Inspections

Safety standards for Florida community colleges include those listed in the Florida Department of Education’s Office of Educational Facilities State Requirements for Educational Facilities (SREF).  SREF references the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Standard 29 CFR 1910, Standards for General Industry and 29 CFR 1926, Standards for Construction Industry.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations are enforced state-wide by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP).  The College also must comply with environmental regulations established by the Florida Department of Health and Pinellas County.

Required safety inspections are conducted pursuant to the Board of Trustees Rule 6Hx23-6.01 and Florida Statute 1013.12, Casualty, safety, sanitation, and fire safety standards and inspection of property, and the State Requirements for Educational Facilities, Chapter 5(1)(a). Annually the College is required to complete and submit to Cabinet and the Board of Trustees for approval a Collegewide comprehensive safety inspection report listing safety code deficiencies before submitting to the Florida Public School Fire Safety Report System (see download of last two years SFM Public School Fire Safety Report System), which notifies the State, County, Municipality, and Independent fire control districts. The review encompasses all buildings, rooms, and grounds of the College’s campuses and centers.

The Annual College-wide Sanitation Casualty and Safety Inspection (SCSI) is performed by a Loss Prevention Specialist from the Florida Community Colleges Risk Management Consortium (see 2022-23 Clearwater Campus example).  The review encompasses all buildings, rooms, and grounds of the College’s campuses and centers. The final inspection report identifies deficiencies with reference to the Florida Fire Prevention Code (FFPC) and the Florida SREF rules that apply to each deficiency, and dates are established for their correction (see 2022-23 SCSI Inspection Summary in progress. Each year, the list of deficiencies identified through the SCSI is collected by the Safety Specialist Officer. Work orders are completed and then sent to the applicable departments for corrective action. A master spreadsheet is used to track deficiency corrections made (see SCSI Inspection 2021-22).

In addition, routine safety inspections take place each year.

  • Security Officers conduct monthly inspections of both the interior and exterior of all College buildings, the grounds, and lighting. (example – April 2022- Downtown Center)
  • Medical surveillance (blood lead level testing) for potential exposure to lead is conducted annually to monitor employees that work at the Indoor Firing Range.  These HIPPA protected records are kept on file and secured.
  • All natural and health sciences laboratories are inspected periodically and annually by the Pinellas County Department of Health (St. Pete/Gibbs Campus Lab inspection report example) to ensure compliance with biohazard and chemical waste regulations.  Each campus is permitted separately (example – Tarpon Laboratory Inspection Operating Permit).
  • Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) investigations are conducted as needed to address IAQ concerns of employees and students.  The College uses a formal IAQ investigation procedure in responding to concerns.  When necessary, which is very rare, air sampling and monitoring is conducted by a Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH) to identify potential indoor air contaminants that may be contributing to IAQ concerns.
    • At the onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic, St. Petersburg College examined its existing building climate control systems to determine what enhancements or repairs could be made to positively impact air quality in interior spaces, managing temperature, humidity and filtration. As COVID-19 was proven to be transmitted by droplets through the air, improvements to HVAC systems were necessary to mitigate the transmission of the virus and improve the overall health and safety of the College community.
    • Five locations (Clearwater, Seminole, Gibbs, Epicenter, and Downtown-Midtown) that consist of multiple buildings and central chilled water plants, were chosen for repairs and upgrades to improve the indoor air quality. The work performed consisted of cleaning air supply dampers, ductwork, and air handling units, and installing modernized digital controls and optimization software for the chilled water plants.  As a result, temperature and humidity control was improved and the introduction and recirculation of cleaner air into interior spaces.   A total in excess of $5 million of CARES funding was expended to fund these projects.
  • Fire alarm systems are installed in all College facilities and are used in case of a fire or emergency (other than a bomb threat) to evacuate the buildings.  Annually, the system is inspected, repaired, and checked to ensure it is operational and code compliant.
  • Fire Extinguishers are serviced yearly by a certified professional.  In addition, Security Officers inspect all fire extinguishers monthly to ensure they are in working order.
  • Routine safety and health inspections are conducted by departments across the College using the Safety and Health Inspection Guide. The inspections are designed to help ensure the health and safety of employees and students and emulate the inspections conducted by state and local.
  • To ensure that facility standards of our local public and private high school classrooms are upheld, SPC staff annually inspects all off-campus Dual Enrollment high school facilities using the Off-Campus Site Facilities Evaluation Form. Currently, all sites meet requirements as seen in the 2022-23 evaluations. Should any deficiencies/concerns be found during this process, the SPC staff would work with the facility managers of the particular site to address the issues.

    Campus Security

    St. Petersburg College complies with the standards and procedures of the Federal Campus Security Act of 1990 in providing a safe and secure environment for students, staff, and visitors.  In addition, the College’s Board of Trustees (BOT) has established Rules and Procedures to reinforce this federal regulation.  The BOT Rules and Procedures contain guidelines governing parking and traffic control; building and grounds security; keys; and campus crime reports.

    • P6Hx23-4.34 – Student Traffic and Parking Control – Explains the expectations and imposed penalties for parking and traffic violations.
    • P6Hx23-4.371 Campus Crime Report – Establishes the procedures for reporting to the Federal Government.  Provosts, Assistant Campus Administrators, or Assistant Provosts are responsible for reporting all appropriate crimes to the Director of College-wide Security, Risk Management and Safety Operations, who is responsible for preparing the annual report.
    • P6Hx23-6.906 Physical Plant: Building and Grounds Security: General – Provides for the security of buildings and grounds.
    • P6Hx23-6.907Physical Plant: Building Security: Keys – Provides a college-wide keying system and key control procedures for effective security established on the criterion of on-site control of keys.
    Campus Security Jurisdiction, Structure and Authority

    Building security is the responsibility of the Director of Safety and Security in cooperation with the Site Supervisors. Security personnel open most buildings each morning and secure the buildings each night.  Licensed and trained security officers patrol the campus grounds and parking lots during the hours that the campuses are open to students and staff, including weekends whenever students are present. College security officers are not certified police officers, but they work closely with local authorities. Local law enforcement has open access to all college grounds and facilities.

    To ensure the safety and welfare of students and employees at off-campus, College sponsored events such as commencement ceremonies, the College’s security personnel work closely with the venue’s management and security personnel to provide necessary security and assist to students, faculty, and staff with any safety or security concerns if needed.

    The College has a centralized security dispatch that serves all College campuses and assists with providing efficient and effective responses to students, staff, and faculty requesting assistance or reporting an incident.  The Security Office uses professional dispatch software and an 800mhz radio system to expedite the dispatching of calls and response times for security officers. In emergencies, college security dispatch can communicate with responding law enforcement on county emergency frequencies.

    All security officers are trained and licensed under the State of Florida Statutes Chapter 493 and receive in-service training in the following areas:

    • College policies and procedures
    • Legal Issues in college security
    • Incident de-escalation and incident control
    • Interview and communication techniques
    • Customer service skills
    • Investigations
    • Report writing
    • Emergency response, including NIMS, ICS and other certified state and federal courses
    • Blood-borne pathogens
    • Emergency evacuations

    The Security Department conducts monthly safety assessments and inventories of all campus buildings and grounds, including landscape issues, lighting, trip and fall hazards, and access control and perimeter security.  The collected data is reviewed by the Risk Management Services Specialist and the Director for any trends or undesirable occurrences, and corrective action is taken.  Corrective action may include immediate correction by the security officer, completing the facility’s work order, or, if necessary, notifying external agencies to rectify the issue. The Campus Safety website provides the college community and the public with access to safety and security information.

    Relationship with Local Law Enforcement Agencies

    The College maintains a professional and cooperative working relationship with the surrounding law enforcement agencies, including – St. Petersburg Police Department, Pinellas County Sheriff’s Department, Pinellas Park Police Department, Largo Police Department, Clearwater Police Department, and Tarpon Springs Police Department. These agencies have open access to all College campuses and respond promptly to calls for service.   Also, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Department maintains satellite offices at the Seminole and Tarpon Springs campuses. If needed, the College works with these agencies to investigate alleged criminal offenses.  The Director of Safety and Security and the Emergency Management Director meet with representatives from the various law enforcement agencies to coordinate initiatives regarding public safety, suspicious incidents, trends in criminal activity in the surrounding municipalities and county, and best practices.

    Crime Statistics

    Crime statistics are prepared annually in accordance with the requirements of the Jeanne Clery Act and the Federal Campus Security Act of 1990.  These statistics are based on data received from the incident database and accident/incident reports. Senior Administrators receive security reports regularly.  The College’s annual crime report, which is posted on the College’s Safety and Security webpage and distributed via email college-wide, is submitted to the appropriate federal and state regulatory agencies in compliance with the Federal Campus Security Act of 1990 and the Jeanne Clery Act.

    Building Access

    Building access for college employees is controlled by ID card swipe devices, electronic locking devices, and traditional keys. Employee identification cards may be encoded for access based on a tiered security access control. Buildings, entryways, and many interior hallways and office suites are equipped with surveillance cameras allowing for active and passive monitoring and recording.  Doors to buildings are unlocked by college security officers during operating hours and locked by security officers at the end of the operating day.   On weekends and holidays, entrance to a building can be gained only by admission by the security officer during the weekend security hours. Any use of facilities outside the above parameters requires authorization by the campus/site administrator.

    Office of Civil Rights (OCR) Complaints

    As of the last comprehensive SACSCOC review in 2018, St. Petersburg College has not been investigated by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights for possible violations alleging sexual violence.