Be safe: Police launch safety education project
By Samantha Savaglio
The University of Wisconsin-Parkside Police and Public Safety Department continues its safety education classes during fall semester 2012. The series kicked off Tuesday, Sept.11, and continues through November. The list of "hot topics" includes active shooters, student safety on and off campus, racial profiling and police brutality, property crimes, and drug use.
Although safety education has been taught sporadically throughout the years, it was not until spring semester that the classes were formalized. However, unlike the spring sessions, the fall series is being taught exclusively by Officer Craig Rafferty, who taught similar classes at UW-Milwaukee.
Rafferty stresses the importance of these classes, stating they are "an educational reminder to students who are not always informed of the resources available." He said the topics are chosen based on a combination of recent events in the media, audience input and recommendations, and what should generally be taught in a university in terms of safety.
The sessions kicked off Sept.11 with "OUT," a class focused on how to respond to an active shooter on campus. The main idea Rafferty wanted attendees to take away from this class is that time is of the essence, devastating events occur so quickly that individuals must be able to act immediately, without hesitation.
"If you can get out, get out" Rafferty stressed, "but if you can't, hide out, call out, or take out."
Rafferty said the series is "geared toward the community of the university," but added everyone can benefit from the classes. Although the audience is mainly students, faculty, and staff, he hopes the classes will eventually reach the greater community.
Each 60-minute class starts at noon and presentations are followed by question and answer sessions. A complete list of classes is on the university web site.