Due to PCC lockdown, safety protocol improvements have been presented to LBCC

By Iman Palm, Andrea Ramos, and Melanie Gerner

To improve safety protocol has shown itself to LBCC because of PCC lockdown that happened on May 1, 2019. (Marissa Lopez)

Correction: Details on a source were changed to reflect the circumstances of the interview.

LBCC has now had a first run with a lockdown at PCC, LBCC now has the opportunity to fix the wrongs of the protocol in place.

Superintendent-President of LBCC, Reagan Romali, was happy with the response time of the Long Beach Police Department but expressed the constant need for improvement.

“We did not have any lapses in protocol that we are aware of … however that does not mean we can’t always make things tighter and tighter,” Romali said.

Romali, as well as other students, called 911 once they were aware of the situation at the PCC.

LBPD responded quickly to the 911 call and officers were out on the campus as soon as they could be.

“I think the police response from Long Beach Police Department was absolutely phenomenal … within seconds they were on sight, in force, there were dozens of police officers there, they were fully trained, and they were out there protecting us,” Romali said.

With the situation being resolved quickly, Lt. Omar Martinez gave insight to, how the police responded to the phone call.

“Originally the call went out as a person with a gun walking on campus … the difference between that and somebody on campus shooting would be a different response … When you see somebody on campus walking around with a gun, your response is going be a little more methodical, trying to find somebody, it might take a little bit more time,” Martinez said.

Where as you get somebody who’s shooting, usually you’re going to identify where that is based on the gunfire so that you’re probably gonna know immediately where to go and nobody is gonna have to tell you.”

Martinez agreed with Romali that the officers that were dispatched to PCC did what they were trained to do.

“I’ve heard many positive comments about the response as far as a police point of view and a campus safety point of view that officers did what they were trained to do. They responded to the type of call that it was … In that sense they did an excellent job in resolving the situation from the onsite of the call,” Martinez said.

The majority of students and faculty got the emergency texts and emails that notified them of the lockdown, and about 40 minutes later got the same alert clearing them of the situation.

Special Agent Fred Simon with FBI community outreach sheds light on how to create a safer environment.

“Creating a mindset of safety or culture of safety, among the people there is important, this is my personal opinion … at least being more aware and alert while they are walking around. Not only to notice people who are potential attackers but just to know your surroundings, so you know if something were to happen right now, I could run over there or I could hide over there,” Simon said.

With the positive feedback from faculty and students, there were still a few people that shared doubts on how it could have been handled differently.

Cathy Doles is a faculty member and is part of the PCC enrollment services Admissions & Records Tech and shares what could be done differently.

“Most of the staff have attended an active shooter training or one of those, so we kind of know what to do in an emergency but … the steps that we have to follow as staff, so we know exactly what to do for example, after the all clear, we didn’t know whether to open the doors … we hesitated for a few minutes because we didn’t have any protocol set in place for what to do after, what do we do?” Doles said.

“Regardless if it was a fake gun or a real active shooter, you are still going through those same emotions and those same feelings.”

Romali also mentioned that even though training; is available for the staff, it is not mandatory for them to attend, however, making attendance mandatory for staff is something that is being discussed.