Campus Police Authority adapts to modern times with Twitter page
BY LAUREN LUKENS
From Myspace to Facebook, Instagram to Twitter, the world is increasingly involved with social media. Anywhere one goes, they will see advertisements for people to visit business websites, and social media almost always accompanies it. With technological changes comes adaptation to cater to tech-savvy students, and Campus Police Authority (CPA) has created a Twitter page with that purpose in mind.
“Doing things like coming up with a Twitter page and getting with the times is the next little step in terms of putting out information that could potentially affect the safety of people here,” said Lieutenant Mark Engstrom, who helped create the Twitter page. “Let’s say there was a purse snatching in the Kroger parking lot. We would certainly want to make sure that our campus population is aware of the specific crime, suspect information and anything else we would have.”
CPA and the Intelligence Operations Center (IOC) technicians tweet general safety tips, traffic reports, weather forecasts and more on the Twitter page, along with local news.
“Through federal law, there are mandates in terms of things that one needs to do to keep their campus aware of anything that affects the safety of campus, and those are covered under the CLERY Act. That is the reactive model,” said Engstrom. “The federal government is saying that, in these situations, you must react and make sure to put out the information, and of course we do that. What Schoolcraft is really good at is being proactive and doing things that go far beyond what the federal law requires.”
Joining the Twitter world is only a minute portion of the advancements CPA has to offer. With recent construction of the IOC in the Jeffress Center, CPA has access to all sorts of information on and off campus, and Schoolcraft will continue to revamp its technology to keep up with modern times.
“This is just a little microcosm in terms of proactive stuff Schoolcraft is doing compared to the IOC,” said Engstrom. “We have tied in our card access system for the Jeffress Center, the McDowell and any future building that is getting renovated. When someone swipes his or her card, photo verification shows up. We are also able to lock down any part of campus with the push of a button. That is amazing technology that the college is investing in.”
Cameras are placed around campus, allowing video evidence of virtually any crime. Anything fire alarm related is also monitored in the IOC, as well as TV and media sources. In the near future, teachers will have the power to lock down their classroom, allowing students safety in the case of an emergency.
While times are changing, CPA is doing a pristine job of adapting. Creating a Twitter page is a small example of Schoolcraft getting ahead, and these developments will continue.
“I think that they are doing a good job to do the best they can to make everyone aware of the happenings around campus. Though I think it is unfortunate because this is big brother, and big brother is not real popular, especially with my generation,” said Mickey Hart, Schoolcraft student. “I do think it is necessary and admirable that they are trying to get up to speed with technology and make alerts easily available.”
For those who do not have a Twitter account, creating one is simple; just go to http://www.twitter.com. Android and iPhone apps are available for easy access to Twitter feeds, and one’s account can also be accessed from any tablet, laptop or desktop.
To view the official Schoolcraft college CPA Twitter page, one can go to http://www.twitter.com/SCCampusPA. Visitors should make sure to follow the account for all of CPA’s offerings to appear on their feed, and retweet information that is found to be useful or interesting to the community.
“With them [CPA] going to social media, it is a good adjustment,” said David Yarber II, Schoolcraft student. “It is still up to the people to actually know what is going on.”
The Twitter page should never be used for emergencies because it is not constantly monitored, and all dangers should be reported by calling 911. Keep in mind that students should still sign up for SCalerts to receive emergency messages straight to their phone, as well as school cancelations. One can contact CPA for non-emergencies by calling 734-462-4424.