Southwest Tennessee Community College’s Police Services/Public Safety Department is one of three national finalists vying for the American Association of Community Colleges 2019 Awards of Excellence in the category of Community College Safety and Planning. The prestigious award recognizes exceptional work among the nation’s 1,200 two-year, associate degree-granting institutions. The other finalists are College of DuPage in Illinois and Rockland Community College in New York.
“I am thrilled at the news of being selected a national finalist,” Southwest President Tracy D. Hall said. “Director Webb and her team are truly deserving of this distinction. We are committed to continuous improvement and innovation at Southwest and our Public Safety officers embraced this commitment by engaging in state-of-the-industry training, amassing law enforcement and emergency management credentials that are on par with any area college and beyond, and launching a public safety awareness campaign that has shaped our campus safety culture into one that follows the guiding principle that safety is everyone’s job. I am so proud of her and the entire department.”
L. Angela Webb, as police services director, oversees a staff of 41 officers charged with providing a safe environment for more than 10,000 faculty, staff and students at two main campuses and three centers. Under her leadership, the Services/Public Safety Division has excelled in developing new and innovative ways to foster campus safety—from the creation of the Southwest Emergency Response Team (SERT) to conducting active shooter drills to engaging in and providing training on sexual assault and drug and alcohol awareness.
“I am excited, thrilled, and ecstatic,” Webb said. “Safety is a top priority at Southwest and we are proud to serve and protect our faculty, staff, students and visitors.” Webb, a retired Memphis Police Department major, joined Southwest in 2015 and since then has implemented programs aimed at engagement, awareness and readiness. “Although we consider an incident-free day our reward, this level of recognition is a powerful endorsement of our efforts over the past three years,” she said. “We have fostered partnerships with Memphis Police Department and other law enforcement agencies to ensure our officers receive the best training available and that we are able to pass much of what we learn on to Southwest employees. I firmly believe that we are more prepared to respond in an emergency than ever before.”
Since 2013, the AACC has recognized individuals who have excelled in their fields and given back to their community through a variety of awards. The awards shine a national spotlight on individuals who offer promising practices to AACC member colleges. The Community College Safety Planning and Leadership Award recognizes exemplary practices and innovation in campus safety and emergency response strategies, programs, and procedures.
The AACC is the primary advocacy organization for the nations’ community colleges. Winners of the Awards of Excellence will be announced at the AACC annual convention April 13-16 in Orlando, Florida.