NICEVILLE — Northwest Florida State College (NWFSC) is ranked among the top 10 safest college campuses in Florida, according to Niche.com.
The rankings for campus safety were established after evaluating campus and community crime rates, rates of violent crimes and student surveys on crime. NWFSC ranked No. 10 out of the 48 colleges and universities evaluated in 2022.
Chief Aaron Murray, NWFSC's executive director of campus safety, said the college’s investment in officer training and development has contributed significantly to the latest ranking.
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“In the last four years, we have developed a robust response capability and built great relationships with other public safety agencies in our region,” Murray said. “We have added several technologies and installed additional cameras that vastly improve our ability to monitor situations and respond. We have also actively worked with multiple departments throughout the college on emergency response training, including bleed control, active shooter responses, firearms safety, self-defense and rape aggression defense training.”
Among the newly incorporated technologies are the Unmanned Aerial Systems.
Last month, the college was recognized as one of 10 colleges in the United States to have implemented security drones to improve campus safety, and it is the first in the region to implement a four-member team that can respond to any campus location and launch an aircraft to assist with emergency responses.
The college has also implemented a FLIR SkyWatch Mobile Surveillance and Deterrence Tower, courtesy of Florida State University, that allows officers to have a bird’s-eye view of outdoor events and identify security issues within a crowd.
Another addition is the Raider Connect app, which turns cellphones into mobile alert devices. Once the Raider Connect app is activated, campus police officers and the emergency communications center are alerted for an immediate response. The app also provides users access to campus maps, emergency response plans, notifications and safety training links.
“I am proud of our campus police for their efforts in making our c0ollege one of the safest in the state,” NWFSC President Devin Stephenson said. “This recognition is proof of our commitment to fostering a safe and supportive environment for all of our students, faculty and staff. We will continue prioritizing safety as we improve our capabilities and expand our Raider Safe Training Program.”
This article originally appeared on Northwest Florida Daily News: NWFSC ranked top 10 safest colleges in Florida, has low crime rate