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Community College Joins Universities in New Security Measures

November 10, 2008

Des Moines, IA – With a growing number of high-profile acts of violence at colleges around the country, many Iowa campuses are taking additional measures to protect students and faculty. Ned Miller, security chief for the Des Moines Area Community College, says such events demand vigilance.

"Our campuses are very safe, if you look at what is going on. But the events at Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois added some urgency and reason to be very prudent."

To that end, Miller says, D-MACC has adopted a system for instantly alerting thousands of people using e-mail, text alerts and cell phone voice messages.

"The text and voice messaging certainly is because they're more mobile. We want to keep those that are driving or at home, in the event of an emergency, from coming to a campus.”

Miller says the new system can send alerts to any one campus or to all six in the system if need be. He says the text, e-mail and voice alerting represents just a portion of D-MACC's emergency communications program, which also includes landline alerts throughout the campuses, and loudspeaker systems on buildings. Miller says the system was successfully tested last week and is now ready for use.

Dick Layman/Steve Powers, Public News Service - IA