Chief Stephen Gass discusses the Texarkana College Police Department and safety on campus.
Hello, welcome to TC. My name is Steven Gass. I’m the Chief of Police for the Texarkana College Police Department.
I’m really glad that you have chosen TC and to become a part of Texarkana College family as part of Texarkana College Family community.
We really emphasize safety on our campus and that’s one of the things I’d like to talk to you very briefly about we have a lot of information that will assist you as you go throughout this journey on Texarkana College that will help you out on our web page.
If you go into the TC website and go to the Public Safety webpage. You’ll find information as far as reports that are important for you. Also, some resources for some videos that you can look at that will help you with some safety and at the conclusion I’m going to direct you to a video that is going to be very important for you to watch for your safety and then also all the safety of those around you.
Just a few quick things to think about as you come onto our campus. We do have some requirements.
One is an ID make sure that you always have an ID that is a state law in Texas that you must always have at the present with you on a college campus. So make sure you have that. I’m also helps us to identify who is on campus appropriately and who is not. Another is a parking sticker and you should have gotten some information already sent to you about getting a parking sticker. If you already have a parking sticker, there is no need for you to request another one. It’s good for your whole time at Texarkana College and so we will be able to locate your vehicle if needed in an emergency, but we also know which vehicles belong on campus.
If you have not already received one and placed it on your vehicle, you do have information on how to request that and it can be picked up on the at the administration building or also at the Media Center, but once you put it on your car, it’s there to stay.
You do not have to get one every semester and so make sure you do that. It’s a very important part of our campus safety plan and so if you do need extra as they can be. obtained.
Another thing is and if you would get out your phone right now, you know and look at your phone. There’s a number that we want you to make sure and put into your phone and that is the emergency number to the Texarkana College Police Department. It is 903-798-3330 again that is 903-798-3330.
Texarkana College has its own Police Department.We have some very experienced, well trained officers on our campus and if there is an emergency on campus, our officers are always here. When you’re here and able to respond very quickly.
Obviously, if you get nervous and you dial 911 Texarkana TX Police Department will respond and they will also notify us. So it’s very important that you you do call us first ’cause we are the closest and able to respond the quickest, but if you forget and all 911, that’s OK, just they’ll refer it to us, but also try to get somebody to call us. In the case of a medical emergency, what we would like for you to do is dial the 903-798-3330 so their officers can respond but also go ahead and call 911. Advise them where you’re at and so that they can go ahead and send the ambulance and fire as needed and so that is important on medical emergencies to go ahead and call both 911 and then also our Texarkana College Police Department.
One of the other aspects be aware of with Texarkana College as well as all colleges in the state of Texas is we are a concealed carry campus and what that means is if you have a license to carry from the state of Texas or you have a concealed carry permit from another state that we have a reciprocal agreement on. You can carry a handgun on our campus as long as it is concealed. There is no open carry unless you’re a licensed peace officer. It’s must be concealed and what that means is it must be on or about your person.
If you’ll look at these pictures on the PowerPoint and notice you know if it’s something that is is visible or away from you, that is, that is not in compliance. What we’re talking about on concealed is, ladies, if it’s in a purse, that person must be right there, readily accessible to you.
It cannot be on a desk behind you or the desk beside you. Uhm, you know needs to be down there around your feet or in your lap. If it’s in a backpack, the same thing.
Obviously, that means that if you’re going to the Pinkerton Center, you cannot leave a handgun in a backpack leaned against the wall or over in a locker. It must be on or about your person readily accessible to you. And in those cases, just make sure and secure it in a vehicle that is parked legally on the campus or somewhere. But you must keep it on or about your person.
And so you know, if you do see somebody that you believe is armed, please call our emergency number, notify us and we will come and address that and so that is something that is very important.
If you are concealed carry, remember that is for your protection and the protection of others. But with our campus, one of the things that we we do want is to make sure that you’re very well prepared for those emergencies.
We know things happen, you know, and you can call us. If you have a dead battery or a flat on your car, but we’re here to make sure that we work with you as a part of the campus community and staying safe and part of that is always being aware of your surroundings, aware of people around you and notifying those that need to be notified if you do see something suspicious.
the video I’m going to end with here, it’s called Run, Hide, Fight. You can also look at this along with another video that’s very important on our public safety website. Feel free to show it to your friends, your family and everybody. But, be aware of your surroundings and those around you and what you need to do in the case of an active shooting or active killing situation on our campus.
And so I’m going to leave you with that video again. Welcome to Texarkana College. We’re really glad that you’re here and we’re excited. We’re excited for the new year. Excited for the new semester. We know there’s going to be a few changes, but we also know that if we all work together, we wear a mask. We check we make sure that we’re cognizant of ourselves and also of our surroundings. We’re going to have a great year welcome. Have a good day. Thank you.
It may feel like just another day at the office. But occasionally life feels more like an action movie than reality. The authorities are working hard to protect you and to protect our public spaces. But sometimes bad people do bad things. Their motivations are different. The warning signs may vary. But the devastating effects are the same. And unfortunately, you need to be prepared for the worst.
If you were ever to find yourself in the middle of an active shooter event. Your survival may depend on whether or not you have a plan. The plan doesn’t have to be complicated. There are three things you could do that make a difference. Run, hide, fight.
First and foremost, if you can get out, do always try and escape or evacuate even when others insist on staying. Encourage others to leave with you, but don’t let them slow you down with indecision.
Remember what’s important, you not your stuff. Leave your belongings behind and try to find a way to get out safely. Trying to get yourself out of harm’s way needs to be your number one priority. Once you are out of the line of fire, tried to prevent others from walking into the danger zone and call 911.
2nd if you can’t get out safely, you need to find a place to hide. Second, act quickly and quietly try to secure your hiding place. The best you can. Turn out lights and if possible remember to lock doors. Silence your ringer and vibration mode on your cell phone. And if you can’t find a safe room or closet, try to conceal yourself behind large objects that may protect you. Do your best to remain quiet and calm.
Second, as a last resort, if your life is at risk, whether you are alone or working together as a group fight. Act with aggression. Improvised weapons. Disarm him and commit to taking the shooter down. No matter what.
Try to be aware of your environment. Always have an exit plan. No, that in an incident like this. Victims are generally chosen randomly. The event is unpredictable and may evolve quickly. Give me back. The first responders on the scene are not there to evacuate or tend to the injured. They are well trained and are there to stop the shooter. Shut down also.
Second, your actions can make a difference for your safety and survival. Be aware and be prepared. And if you find yourself facing an active shooter, there are three key things you need to remember to survive. Run, Hide, Fight.