Campus Safety Information
St. Thomas has taken steps to provide a healthy, safe, and secure environment for all members of the campus community. These steps are evaluated continually, and revised where deemed appropriate to meet the ever-changing needs of the campus community. St. Thomas presently employs the services of The Wackenhut Corporation, a professional contract security provider, to staff for the Public Safety Department. The Wackenhut Corporation provides an on-site project manager in cooperation with designated St. Thomas administrators who are responsible for overseeing the efficient operation of the Public Safety Department. Furthermore, an additional three shift supervisors are provided to ensure proper management 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Ten additional security officers make up the remainder of the Wackenhut staff.
St. Thomas is a closed, private campus. Access to the campus property is limited to those individuals who conduct business at the university. Security personnel screen all visitors at point of access to the property. Staff, faculty, and students are required to display a St. Thomas University decal on their vehicle to obtain access into the university. All of the security personnel are regulated by the State of Florida, Division of Licensing, which governs the contract security industry. Accordingly, all assigned security personnel are licensed and trained in accordance with the State of Florida, Division of Licensing requirements. In addition, they receive CPR/First Aid and on the job training to ensure that they have the skills necessary to respond to any campus emergency. Campus security personnel are provided with the necessary tools to carry out their responsibilities effectively. These include radios to facilitate communication, conveyances to conduct security patrols, and CPR/First Aid equipment. Campus security provides escorts upon request to the campus community. Campus security reports hazardous conditions to the maintenance and physical plant personnel for corrective action.
St. Thomas University publishes and distributes security and safety policies to the campus community regularly through information flyers, official handbooks, and on the University Departments responsibilities are outlined by position in the facility post orders. These post orders are reviewed and updated regularly.
The Wackenhut Corporation has been involved in specific aspects of safety planning since the inception of the contract with St. Thomas. The Wackenhut Corporation conducted a comprehensive physical security survey that was published in July 1996. The survey outlined the safety and security program, pointed out deficiencies pertaining to safety, security, and hazardous conditions, and made recommendations to rectify these deficiencies. Using the physical security survey as a guide, The Wackenhut Corporation, with the approval of St. Thomas, formulated and published very specific post orders that are used to direct security personnel in the performance of their duties. These post orders are evaluated and updated as dictated by public safety directives. The Wackenhut Corporation provides input to St. Thomas administrators on matters related to safety and security, including hazardous conditions, through the publication of incident reports, providing feedback on St. Thomas policies governing alcohol consumption on campus, natural disaster readiness and response, and security tips in the forms of lesson plans and staff meetings. The Wackenhut Corporation, with the oversight of St. Thomas administrators, tracks and reviews incidents related to safety and security, and publishes these statistics for information purposes. Furthermore, all campus crime statistics are forwarded to the U.S. Department of Education and the Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida in accordance with ICUF guidelines. The Wackenhut Corporation and designated St. Thomas administrators maintain the crime statistics and the Physical Plant Safety plan on file at St. Thomas.
The physical plant office publishes a Written Hazard Communication Program pamphlet. The purpose of this program is to outline and describe the OSHA requirements for container labeling, material safety data sheets, and employee information and training.