Keeping our campus safe: “Communication is key”

Recent shootings at higher level institutions across the country have sparked the Coastal Carolina University community to reflect on current campus procedures and policies to keep students, faculty and staff safe. 


CCU Police Division’s Major Robert Pellerin said he and his team work to keep those on campus safe. Pellerin said although there are no specific procedures that can stop shootings from happening, the officers on campus are trained to communicate potential threats. He said they rely heavily on students, faculty and staff to report suspicious behavior and any fears they may have.  


“We have a great community here at Coastal that feels it is their responsibility to keep us safe. We hope to keep it that way,” Pellerin said.  


He said the Department of Public Safety (DPS) prioritizes a presence on campus because the more information they can obtain, the more successful they can be in keeping everyone safe. Pellerin said the officers also train with other police agencies, local hospitals and fire departments in preparation for situations including an active shooter in the area and other threats to the public. 


Freshman Evan DeLauter said he sees the work the officers do and said it helps him feel safe living in campus housing. In Magnolia Hall, located on Quail Creek Village Avenue across University Boulevard, he said he is confident in the layers of protection provided by CCU, including the complexity of the lock system and police presence.  


“I feel relatively safe. I often see security officers as I walk around campus,” DeLauter said. “And as a result, I feel safe enough to walk from my dorm to the gym by myself at night.” 


Major Pellerin said he was grateful for people like Shaun Bannon, who monitors and keeps up with the camera system and emergency call boxes around campus. This extensive camera system includes approximately 2,000 cameras which cover all entrances and exits to and from the University. Bannon’s main focuses are to ensure quality camera coverage and identify and fix any shortcomings in the area.  


DPS said their values include protecting the University community, providing equal service to all, being responsive, and listening to and acknowledging the concerns of citizens.  


Students, faculty and staff can leave tips for DPS by calling or texting 843-349-8477, and in the case of an emergency 843-349-2911.