Pellissippi State Security Officers Get Schooled

by Shelby Verran

The students of Pellissippi State aren’t the only ones on campus seeking higher education. Campus security officers have attended or plan to attend the Police Academy to become certified officers.

In July of 2016 Pellissippi State’s Safety and Security Department became an official Police Department. Fred Breiner, Chief of Police at Pellissippi State said as of March 2017, Pellissippi has six certified armed police officers. In the next couple of months three more officers will be attending the Police Academy to become certified.

Once the next three officers have completed the academy Pellissippi will have a total of nine armed police officers. According to Breiner, Pellissippi currently hires off duty police officers to provide additional armed police coverage of the campuses. Breiner said that having certified officers, as well as the access to additional security related information and training will assist in increased security at Pellissippi State.

 

Sunday, April 9th, 2017

Change in police presence at Pellissippi represented at the Magnolia Campus

by Shelby Verran

 

Pellissippi State has seen a change in recent years with a switch from a security department to now Campus Police. Rosalyn Tillman, Dean of the Magnolia Avenue Campus, explained some changes that can be visibly seen by students at her campus, as well as all other Pellissippi State campuses.

The policy for the number of officers has remained the same for Pellissippi Campus’, but there is a difference in the consistency of personnel because of the change from a contract security company to Campus Police. Now, instead of changing guards daily or weekly, the same guards can be seen each day. Dean Tillman said “This way you get to know them, and they know you.”

Magnolia student Katie Varner said, “[The Magnolia Campus] operates like a family unit.” The Magnolia Campus has had the least number of incidences out of all Pellissippi State campuses. In fact, for the years 2013-2015, Magnolia had zero reported crimes.

Tillman attributes the Magnolia Campus’ record to “the atmosphere that permeates the campus.” She attributes to the familiar faces of security officers that now walk the halls.

Sunday, March 19th, 2017

Pellissippi will begin new associate programs

Pellissippi President Anthony Wise Jr. met with Governor Bill Haslam on the Blount County campus Oct. 4 to discuss new associate programs.

The meeting was scheduled during Tennessee’s Manufacturing Week. Its purpose was to address the needs of advanced manufacturing in the greater Knoxville area and the educational resources the college could provide in order to better meet those needs.

“The governor really believes that there is a strong connection between education and workforce development. It’s one of the reasons he has invested so much in Tennessee Promise, Tennessee Reconnect, and supporting higher education. We have to make sure citizens have the right kind of educational opportunities,” said Wise.

To that end the college opened two new associate degrees of Applied Sciences and has committed itself to the construction of new science facilities on its Blount County and Strawberry Plains campuses.

At the Strawberry Plains campus, in partnership with TCAT (Tennessee College of Applied Technology) a new 16-unit welding lab has been constructed. The facility offers a year-long diploma based program during the day, and Pellissippi offers its new associate program in welding at night.

The college has also created a new concentration within its computer science program offering an associate degree in cyber defense, which will be available on all campuses.

“Cyber security is critical for hospitals, banks, businesses, and educational institutions,” said Wise. “I would expect given the connectivity that we have going forward that cyber security is going to be a field of growth,” he went on to say.

Monday, October 31st, 2016

Campus security at Pellissippi is here to help

By. Grace Whitaker

Pellissippi State’s campus security is prepared to help students and staff in any way possible.

“Our overall concern is for the safety of all those who are on our Pellissippi State campuses,” said Terry Crowe, deputy chief of police for Pellissippi. “This means that our officers and staff are looking at everything from obstructions on the walkways to successful investigations of incidents reported to our department.“

The most common crime on campuses is theft. Security encourages people to avoid leaving personal items unattended.

Police officers and campus security work together to ensure safety for everyone on campus. This is done by filing reports, as well as having scheduled emergency drills.

Security also encourages people to watch for suspicious behavior. Crowe said, “We encourage everyone that if they ‘see something’ then we would like them to ‘say something.’”

The “Text a Tip” program enables people to send anonymous information to security. Type “pstcctips” into the text, then send the information to 67283.

Students should feel free to approach any officer should he or she need assistance, or to simply get to know the officer.

Security also gives directions, unlocks vehicles, and jump-starts engines regularly.

The campus police phone number is (865) 694-6646.

Thursday, October 13th, 2016

Increasing safety by increasing security

By Caleb Noe

Fred Breiner director of security at Pellissippi explained how to increase safety and security on Wednesday Sept 30th. I sat down with Breiner who has worked with Pellissippi since May of 2007, and went down a list of questions that were prepared.

If someone sees a potentially dangerous situation developing, Breiner said the first thing to do is to pass it on to campus security and if necessary to call 911 as soon as possible. He also said that campus security cannot help with a situation if they do not know about it.

When security gets a call, the first thing to do is to send someone out to get as much information as possible and talk to the person Breiner said. He also said after a report is filed they do a follow up if the property is found.

Breiner said that even though they don’t get a lot of anonymous tips through the silent witness system on Pellissippi’s web page, the information they get is very accurate. He said the department encourages students to use it.

A normal day of work, Breiner said is, “Never the same you never know what is going to happen some days are slow and others are busy.”

Breiner said that if you see anything on campus that isn’t right, let the security know and basically if you see something say something.

Friday, October 9th, 2015

Security guards at Pellissippi will carry weapons

Pellissippi State’s security guards are working on certifications to carry firearms.  Along with arming the guards, the school’s security will be audited to ensure the most effective communication and notifications.

by Nicole Hedger

Pellissippi State will be arming its security guards.

“We want to make sure that the campus environment is as safe and secure as possible,” said Pellissippi president, Dr. Anthony Wise.  The guards are going through “a series of psychological tests that they have to take, and certifications they have to get” in order to carry the firearms.

Pellissippi has been considering this decision in the past, but Wise said, “We just feel like this is the appropriate time to do it.  We had one of our guards retire, and we’re starting a new search, so it seemed like this was a good time to make that transition.”

The college will also be conducting a security audit over the course of the summer.  An outside group is being brought in to evaluate all of the school’s practices and procedure “to make sure we have the right kind of notifications in place, and the right kind of communication tools,” said Wise.  “(This is) so that we have all the tools we need in place in order to make the campus as safe and secure as possible.”

 

Sunday, April 21st, 2013

What’s Pellissippi’s tie to the terror attack of 9/11?

by Stephen Gyebison

As Americans looked in horror at the black smoke billowing from both towers of the World Trade Center in New York City on Sept. 11, 2001, one of our own had to spring into action.

Fred Breiner, who is now the director of safety and security at Pellissippi State, was a detective captain for the New York Police Department.

“ I was sleeping when the first plane hit the World Trade Center,” he said. “I had worked late the night before. I was actually stuck on a job until  the early morning hours at a shooting where we had to gather some information for the police commissioner.”

I figured there will be mobilization because it is a major disaster in a very high-density area. I thought they will need every possible hand. I called work and found they would not mobilize.”

He said, “Initially it could have just been an accident,” he said.

Second Plane Hits

Breiner learned more when he turned on the TV. After the second plane hit, I called work again to see if we needed to be mobilized. Again they didn’t mobilize us, he said.

Two hours later, New York send out a broadcast mobilizing fire and police officers.

Knowing Those Who Died

Breiner knew some who died in the tragedy.  “I had two police officers that I worked with for a short period of time who died,” he said.  “I had actually been their supervisor. I also knew several firefighters who lost their lives.”

“Almost everybody in New York knew somebody who died,” he remembered.

Breiner worked on the scene between 40 and 100 hours. Because he worked in Brooklyn, he was kept in his assigned area just in case there was public unrest.

“Sometimes there is looting and rioting when you have something like that,” he said. 

It was almost a week before officers were assigned outside their burroughs. They went to Ground Zero, and he worked side by side with officers and supervisors. They saw body parts removed from the debris.

Health Hazards

 “I am being monitored by the World Trade Center monitoring crew for health reasons because of the smoke and possible chemicals. But I was not affected by it,” he said.

“Initially we didn’t have any kind of protection. Then they gave us dust masks, and later they gave us a respirator, which I wore all the time.”

Breiner said he could see the smoke from his house, which was 30 miles from the incident.

Different parts of the federal government were investigating events leading up the 9/11 attack, he said. But they could not put the pieces together in time to stop the attack.

“The different units were not investigating as well as they should have,” he said.

Breiner was a police officer in New York City in 1993 during the first attack on the World Trade Center. “I attended training,” he said. “Basically it was terrorist training. It was pretty serious back then.”

Breiner worked for the NYPD until 2003 when he retired because it got too stressful, he said.

“I had a great career,” he said. “It was just time to leave.”

  

 

 

 

Saturday, April 6th, 2013

New gun law affects college campuses statewide

by Justin Baranski

Pellissippi State students with carry permits will be able to bring guns onto campus in locked vehicles starting this summer.

gunPellissippi will follow all state laws in accordance with the state Board of Regents, said Fred Breiner, director of safety and security at Pellissippi. “If the weapons are to be locked in a vehicle, then they shouldn’t been seen on campus.”

Senate Bill 142, also known as the “guns-in-trunks” measure, was signed into law on March 15.  Gov. Bill Haslam signed the bill just weeks after the Tennessee Senate approved the measure by a vote of 28-5.  The bill will take effect on July 1.

The bill will allow gun-permit holders to possess a firearm in their motor vehicle, whether at places of work or college campuses.  The bill removes criminal penalties for bringing a firearm on private property without the owner’s knowledge.

There are more than 370,000 registered gun-permit holders in Tennessee.

Breiner said, “People that don’t have permits would be a bigger risk.”

He said that Pellissippi held its first “Safe Campus Conversations” in February, and future meetings will be held.  These are available at all campuses

Keep Guns Off Campus is an organization that was established in 2008 to fight gun laws that involve school grounds from elementary to college levels. But neither the University of Tennessee or Pellissippi  has joined the campaign.

Andy Pelosi, speaking for www.keepgunsoffcampus.org, said,”360 schools have signed up, and includes 129 community and junior colleges.

Fewer than 10 schools have declined, he said, and mostly because they felt their state law was tough enough.

Pellissippi State Security is present 24 hours a day ot  assist Pellissippi students.  “If you see something that isn’t right, let someone know,” Breiner said.

He also said that Pellissippi is currently studying the benefits of arming campus security guards.  However, Pellissippi State hasn’t had any major incidents in the past.

The bill was sponsored by Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, and was handled by Sen. Jack Johnson, R-Franklin.

Photo Credit: Mitch Barrie cc

Sunday, March 24th, 2013

What about the cracks in the Bagwell Center?

-by Adrienne Lefebvre

Hairline fractures in the floor of the Bagwell Center for Media and Art have led some to question the building’s structural integrity.

No need, says David Walton, director of Facilities, Safety and Security.

“There is no structural concern in regards to the cracks in the concrete,” said Walton. “They are the result of leaving out the normal expansion joints that would be in a large single pour such as this.”

Walton pointed out that the floor’s stained concrete finish is “relatively new” and that the building’s architect neglected to “call for the appropriate control joints” which caused small fractures to appear as the concrete dried.

“Typically, these joints are left out and a floor like this is covered with carpet or vinyl composition tile,” said Walton. “These cracks are completely normal. You just wouldn’t normally see them.”

Walton admitted that the cracks caused “disappointment” but reiterated that the issue is only aesthetic.

“We elected to leave them as they were,” said Walton. “Removal and re-pouring of the floor would have been expensive, problematic and caused considerable delay in completion of the building.”

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

Gun Bill Fails

By: Matthew Shields
State Rep. Stacey Campfield’s two gun bills died in House Judiciary subcommittee on April 1.

One House bill stated that any full-time faculty and staff member with a valid permit could bring a handgun onto their public college campus.

Stacey Campfield wrote on his website, “(It’s) Good to know that the campus police will be available to make a report after the crime has taken place. Don’t you all feel safer?”

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009