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MCC looking to improve security

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By Brad Burton

“You can’t tell anyone how to feel because that’s your own process, but I feel very safe when I come into work and feel confident we would be able to respond to a situation according to what we’ve learned and how we have been trained.” — MCC President Naomi DeWinter

After the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting claimed the lives of 17 people in Parkland, Fla., schools and colleges are looking at ways they can try to prevent a shooting from happening in the future.
MCC president Naomi DeWinter has been looking for ideas on how to prepare MCC for any shooting of some sort to happen.
“At my previous college we did a drill where we had the police force come in and we went into a lockdown,” said DeWinter. “The office we were in was long and narrow so we locked the door and went into filing room and locked that door. We turned off our cell phones and made sure nobody talked so that it appeared nobody was there.”
The only cameras that MCC has are in the students apartments. According to DeWinter, the plan is to get interior and exterior cameras for the buildings at MCC to make sure they monitor any incidents that may occur.
MCC doesn’t have active law enforcement all the time but anyone can call the police department and ask for help. The police can usually arrive in two to three minutes. There is a person at MCC on staff during the evenings to make sure everything is safe but if somebody sees something out the ordinary and feels unsafe, DeWinter advises calling 911.
If there was to be an attack on campus every building would be alerted.
“There is a telephone in every office and every classroom so we can send an alert,” said DeWinter. “That’s our system of mass communication.”
One thing MCC did to make it safer for students and faculty was put brighter lighting in the parking lot by the student center. If students or faculty ever feel uncomfortable when it’s dark, somebody can always escort them to their cars if needed, DeWinter said.
Students and teachers have expressed concern since the Parkland shooting and are hoping for good outcomes for safety at MCC.
“I’ve had a couple conversations with faculty members and we talked about it at our cabinet meeting,” said DeWinter. “We talked about what we could as a group because it’s not just Muscatine that needs to be ready, its the other campuses as well.”
MCC has a policy where firearms are prohibited and DeWinter is looking at other possibilities for teachers to have protection for students.
MCC also started locking some buildings in the evenings that have no night-time classes.
Since the aftermath of the Parkland shooting, DeWinter says students should feel safe at the college but understands the nerves and scares.
“You can’t tell anyone how to feel because that’s your own process, but I feel very safe when I come into work and feel confident we would be able to respond to a situation according to what we’ve learned and how we have been trained.”

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MCC looking to improve security