Small college, big security

JACKSONVILLE (KYTX) - A school shooting this week near Houston.

Now campuses across the country and here in East Texas are taking note and making changes.

It comes down to who, and what, can make it onto any school campus.

And places like Tyler Junior College are checking as many of their procedures as possible to make sure your kids are safe when they head to class.

Jacksonville College freshman Josh Monks wears an ID badge everywhere he goes on campus.

"Where I came from was a small town, so we really didn't have them. But here, the first thing, first day, told to wear them so they know who you are," says Monks.

He says that coupled with armed security presence makes him feel safe, especially following the latest shooting at Lone Star College in Houston.

"I see security guards all the time and most are friendly and talk with them. I definitely feel safe," says Monks.

Chief of Security at Jacksonville College is Michael Morse, a seasoned officer with tactical training, who can carry a gun.

"We've upgraded the security department since I've been here. All of our officers are going to be armed. We've installed a student emergency alert system. We call it the jag alert," says Morse.

Many college campuses don't' have fences around them, that's why they rely on ID badges, security officers and cameras. And Jacksonville College is looking to upgrade it's camera system on campus.

"During registration a few parents on campus that I talked to. Most were happy to see that we had security on campus and it was armed security," says Morse.

"Since I'm not from around here, this is a big town to me and just feels safe knowing there's people here that are armed and know what to do when something happens," says Monks.

Many campuses also have alert systems in place on campus, so if there were a problem they could contact all classes at once.

State lawmakers are now considering the "Texas School District Security Act" that would allow schools to hire police officers.

It would not extend to college campuses.

Many senators say college police departments already do a good job of keeping students safe.


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