Southwest Tennessee Community College’s Police Services/Public Safety Department has been named the recipient of the American Association of Community College (AACC)’s Community College Safety and Planning award for state-of-the-art training and innovative practices.
The AACC Award of Excellence for Community College Safety and Planning honors outstanding work among the 1,200 two-year and associate-degree granting institutions throughout the nation.
L. Angela Webb, director of the Police Services/Public Safety Department accepted the award on behalf of the department during the 2019 AACC annual convention on April 15.
“I’m elated that my department is the recipient of the ACC Award of Excellence,” she said. “It is truly an honor for my team to be recognized for their commitment to the safety of our college. Being acknowledged as a hard working group dedicated to providing the very best service is paramount.”
The 41 officers within the department have the responsibility of delivering a safe environment for over 10,000 faculty members, staff and students at Southwest’s two main campuses and three centers.
Since Webb joined the Southwest faculty in 2015, she and her team have created a culture of safety through original practices, public awareness campaigns and innovative training.
Webb and her team have increased the level of safety awareness and among the campus community through things such as the establishment of the Southwest Emergency Response Team, conducting active shooter drills and providing training on sexual assault and drug and alcohol awareness.
The team has also established a strong partnership with community partners like the Memphis Medical Collaborative to reinforce that safeguards are active during events near the community college’s Union Avenue Campus. Police officers at the college are also certified as instructors in Krav Maga, Incident Response to Terrorist Bombings, ASP Baton and Child Passenger Safety.
Webb said she has noticed a change in people’s perception to work together and protect the college community since she first arrived at Southwest.
“We watch out for each other – I think people realize now that safety is everyone’s job – that’s what makes this award so meaningful to me,” Webb said.