by Rachel Terzo
WVU Parkersburg campus police, teamed up with 20 professionals from different departments of the college, to create a sizeable safety team for students on campus.
The Threat Assessment team of WVU Parkersburg consists of professors from the Social Justice and Social Sciences departments, wellness and psychology professors, safety officers, counselors, local law enforcement, and other members of the faculty. The team meets one time a semester in order to discuss any safety issues that have been brought to their attention, or that they have observed themselves while on campus.
Issues are addressed and resolved by the Threat Assessment team. These include: threatening text messages or threats within the classroom, vague or obvious threats to the building or people in the building, questionable dangerous behavior, and other triggers that make anyone on campus feel threatened. No safety issue is to inconsequential for the Threat Assessment team to scout out.
The Threat Assessment team also deals with safety issues such as foundation cracks, wintertime parking lot dangers, and other building maintenance problems that are safety concerns.
The members of the team have a commitment to safety. The campus police deal with any immediate dangers. In instances that are not emergencies, the team meets to determine how to deal with the issue at hand. The attorney general assigned to campus handles any legal issues that cannot be resolved by the team.
Campus security and Threat Assessment team members aren’t the only ones who take action against risks on campus. Students are welcomed and encouraged to report anything that they feel could be a threat to their safety. “Threats or safety concerns may be reported anonymously, or not, whichever you choose,” head campus police officer Al Collins said. “Even if a student thinks that their concern is not important or maybe not even a threat, they should still report it anyway, you can’t be too sure.’’
Tragic instances in recent history, such as the Virginia Tech disaster and the shooting in Tucson, have the Threat Assessment team on guard. Al Collins says, “After tragedies like 9/11 and Columbine, we can’t be too safe. We are constantly on the look out for warning signs when someone is in distress, or when any other threatening situation presents itself.’’ Some may find it comforting to know that WVU-Parkersburg has one of the safest campuses in the nation, according to the Cleary Report.
Forms and contact information for the Threat Assessment team are located on the Campus Safety portion of WVU Parkersburg’s homepage.