LCC police maintaining 24/7 service
By Shauna Stocken
Editor in Chief
Despite remote learning, and many LCC staff and facility members working from home, essential employees are still maintaining their normal schedule on campus.
Among those are the LCC Police and Public Safety Department employees. They have maintained a 24/7 presence on Lansing’s main campus throughout the pandemic.
“Essentially my job duties are still the same, they’ve just changed slightly,” said full-time LCC Police Dispatcher Jeremy McElyea.
While on duty, McElyea said his department is responsible for monitoring cameras, maintaining the RAVE Guardian app and observing the fire systems.
Although many services and duties on campus have stayed the same, new precautions for serving the public have been implemented.
“Before we come in the door, we take our temperatures,” said Bill French, LCC Police and Public Safety director and chief. “We have hand-wash bottles everywhere and disinfectant wipes everywhere, and we’re constantly wiping the office down.
Everybody is taking their temperatures. Everybody knows if they start to feel it, they should stay home. It’s our job to take care of each other.”
French said he has complete confidence in going to work, more so than taking a trip to a crowded grocery store. He further stated that he only has contact with two employees a day during his shift: a dispatcher and a police officer.
To stay contacted with police cadets and fellow full-time staff members, phone calls and virtual meetings using the conferencing video software, Cisco Webex, have been implemented.
“We’ve reduced our staff down to a bare minimum to keep everybody safe,” French said. “We try to keep as few people here as possible so we can keep people safe. … Our chief dispatcher (Kristy DeRosia), she keeps checking in on them (cadets) and calling them weekly, just to see how they’re doing and holding up.”
Although LCC’s police department is still available 24/7, offering typical services like lockout assistance and car jumps, French encouraged all students and staff members to stay home and to stay safe.
“If we had one of those calls, we would certainly do it,” French said. “We would wear personal protective gear and keep us safe, but we would do it.
“We keep our distances from each other, but we’re still handing laptops out to students. They show up and we get them a computer or whatever else device they need. It’s the same with employees. They’ll show up and we’ll check equipment out to them.”
When asked about a timeline for returning to campus, French said he believes the coronavirus will hit hardest in April.
“I don’t know what normal will be after this,” French said. “It all will be your definition of normal. Will life go back to what it was before? I don’t think so. I don’t think so because I think we’ve found that we’re pretty successful in some areas, from people working from home and people working online for school.
“I think we’re going to see some kind of hybrid (society) coming up. … We’ll reduce as much human contact as possible.”