CAMPUS POLICE AND SAFETY
Campus Police and Security Department
Gaston College is committed to providing a safe and secure campus and learning environment. The Campus Police and Security Department supports this mission by assisting others with the highest commitment to professionalism, service, respect, and integrity. All members of the Campus Community are expected to exercise responsible judgment and conduct themselves in accordance with generally accepted standards.
Gaston College’s Campus Police and Security Department is comprised of both sworn Police Officers and non-sworn Security Officers. Campus Police Officers are armed and identified by their slate blue or white shirts and distinctive “Campus Police” shoulder patch and badge. Security Officers are unarmed and identified by their dark blue shirts and distinctive “Campus Security” shoulder patch and badge.
Campus Police Officers have full police authority on College property, including College-owned or leased property and any portion of a public road or highway passing through the property and/or adjoining College property.
When needed, the Campus Police and Security Department works closely with other law enforcement agencies, including:
- NC State Bureau of Investigation
- NC Highway Patrol
- Gaston County Police (Dallas and Kimbrell Campuses)
- Gaston County Sheriff’s Department (Dallas and Kimbrell Campuses)
- Dallas Police Department (Dallas Campus)
- Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office (Lincoln Campus)
- Lincolnton Police (Lincoln Campus)
- Belmont Police (Kimbrell Campus)
Locations and Contact Information
Campus Police and Security have an office location on each campus.
- Dallas Campus (Main Office)
Comer Engineering Technology Building
Lincoln Classroom Building
Kimbrell Campus Classroom Building
Campus Police and Security for all campuses can be contacted by dialing 704.922.6480, or extension 6480 from an on-campus phone.
Annual Security Report (ASR)
Gaston College publishes an Annual Security Report (ASR), which contains information related to safety and security including crime statistics for the prior three years (see Appendix M:Gaston College Crime Statistics ), various safety and security measures, and crime prevention information. To review the current ASR, you can contact Campus Police by telephone at 704.922.6480, in person on the Dallas Campus (Main Office), Comer Engineering Technology Building, Room CET 122, or online at www.gaston.edu - click About Us - Campus Police and Safety - Annual Security Report (ASR).
Crime Incident Logs
The Campus Police & Security Department maintains a log of all crimes reported to the Department, which is available for viewing in the main office in the Comer Engineering Technologies building room 122 at the Dallas Campus, room 119 of the main building at the Lincoln Campus, and room 107 of the classroom building at the Kimbrell Campus.
Photo Identification (ID)
Photo IDs are available for employees and curriculum students. There is no charge for the initial ID. Replacements are $10.00. Curriculum students must provide a current class schedule to receive an ID. A monthly schedule is published that lists specific dates, times, and locations. IDs may be obtained at the following locations:
- Dallas Campus: Comer Engineering Technology Building (CET 207)
- Kimbrell Campus: Kimbrell Campus Classroom Building (KCC 102)
- Lincoln Campus: Lincoln Classroom Building (LC 119)
For further information, contact the Campus Police and Security Department at 704.922.6480.
Lost and Found
Lost items should be turned in to one of the Campus Police and Security Department locations. To report a lost item, contact the Campus Police and Security Department at 704.922.6480. If you need to reclaim a lost item, contact Campus Police and Security. Please be prepared to provide the following:
- Your name, phone number, and e-mail address.
- Date and location the item was lost or last seen.
- Description of the item.
- If lost item is a cell phone, be prepared to give the brand, carrier, and number.
- After 120 days, unclaimed items will become the property of the College.
Weather and Scheduling Modifications
In the event of inclement weather, or other reasons such as a power failure, the College President or designee may close the College or modify its operating schedule. Closing the College or modifying its operating schedule is separate from Gaston and Lincoln County Schools or any other school system. For accurate information on College closings or modified schedules, check for weather-related notices specifically made by Gaston College. In the event of inclement weather, persons are encouraged to use their best judgment when assessing their ability to travel safely.
The following are ways to stay informed about weather and scheduling modifications. It is recommended that more than one method be used.
- Subscribing to GC Alert.
- College Website www.gaston.edu.
- Recorded announcements on the College Switchboard at 704.922.6200.
- Radio and TV
- WSGE 91.7FM - Gaston College
- WBT 99.3FM - Charlotte
- WBT 1110AM - Charlotte
- WLNK 107.9FM - Charlotte
- EDAC-TV Channel 21 (Education Access) - Gaston
- WBTV-TV (CBS) - Charlotte
- News 14-TV (Carolina) - Charlotte
TRAFFIC AND PARKING
Traffic and Parking
Per N.C.G.S. 115D-21, all provisions relating to the operations of motor vehicles, public or private, on NC highways, street, roads, alleys, and driveways of the College apply on a 24-hour basis including any other rules and regulations approved by the College’s Board of Trustees. Additionally, an operator of any vehicle on College property is expected to follow the instructions of any Campus Police or Security Officer and all traffic signs. A copy of the Traffic and Parking policy is available upon request. Failure to obtain such a copy is not an excuse for violation of the policy.
The responsibility of finding a legal parking space rests with the motor vehicle operator. Failure to find a legal parking space does not permit the violation of parking rules and regulations. If a vehicle is illegally or improperly parked, the driver of the vehicle will be notified as quickly as possible, which may include calling the student out of class. Repeat violations may result in the loss of driving privileges on the College campus.
Some of the common offenses include:
- Reckless driving.
- Blocking or obstruction of traffic, street, crosswalk, sidewalk, fire hydrant, building entrance or exit, or another vehicle properly parked.
- Protruding into lane of traffic.
- Double parking.
- Parking on shoulder of road, except where parking is indicated by official signs.
- Driving in excess of posted speed limits.
- Failure to obey traffic signs.
- Failure to obey directions of Campus Police or Security Officers.
- Failure to yield right-of-way at pedestrian crossings.
- Following too closely.
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics.
- Operating a vehicle causing loud and unnecessary noise such as loud mufflers, horns, public address systems, stereo systems, and ultra-sensitive alarm systems.
- Failure to yield right-of-way to emergency vehicles.
- Operating or parking a vehicle in any manner that creates a safety hazard.
- Leaving a vehicle on campus overnight without notifying Campus Police.
- Parking, standing, or stopping so as to impede the flow of traffic.
- Improper parking so that any portion of a vehicle is outside the marked limits of a parking space.
- Parking in unauthorized areas such as those areas posted as visitor parking, faculty/staff parking, no parking, handicapped parking, loading zones, designated crosswalks, or areas other than those specified by the vehicle permit.
- Parking trailers or boats on campus.
- Passing moving vehicles going in the same direction.
- Traffic accidents such as collision with another vehicle, a person, sign, or immovable object.
Traffic accidents are to be reported immediately to the Campus Police Department. Unless a person(s) requires medical treatment, those involved in an accident are to remain at the scene of the accident until an investigation is complete.
Campus Police and Security Officers, at their discretion, have several enforcement options that can be used singularly or in combination, including:
- Referral to Student Affairs.
- Verbal warning.
- Written citation.
- Gaston College citation.
- Initiating criminal charges, by arrest or issuing a NC Uniform Citation under NC State law, which are adjudicated by the General Court of Justice through the criminal courts system.
Fines and Penalties
Fines and/or penalties may be issued for violation of traffic and parking rules. Repeat violations may result in the loss of driving privileges on campus. The current fine amount for traffic or parking citations is $5.00 per violation. Fines are to be paid at the College’s Business Office within five (5) calendar days of the date issued or immediately following any appeals, as applicable. Unpaid fines will be added to a student’s financial account with the College.
Failure to pay fines may result in additional penalties including a hold on a student’s ability to register or re-enroll for classes, the withholding of grades, transcripts, degrees, diplomas, and/or certificates, graduation denial, revocation of parking privileges, and any of the provisions as detailed in the NC General Statues. Additionally, the accumulation of three (3) or more citations for violation of parking and traffic rules during one term will subject a student to the College’s Student Code of Conduct.
Handicap parking is available for those with disabilities. To park in handicap parking spaces, a person must have and properly display an officially issued handicap license plate or appropriate windshield placard. Handicap parking placards and license plates are issued to individuals, not to vehicles. Using another person’s handicapped placard or licensed vehicle is illegal.
Campus Police and Security routinely check the vehicle registration of those parking in handicap spaces to ensure compliance. Improper use of these handicap parking spaces is punishable by a maximum fine of $250.00, plus court costs.
Internal Appeal Process for College Citations
A student has the right to an internal appeal for receipt of a College citation or penalty in regards to parking and traffic rules. An appeal must be in writing and submitted to the Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management or designee within five (5) days of the date the citation or penalty is issued. Appeal forms are available in the Campus Police and Security Department. Decisions by the Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management are final. North Carolina Uniform Citations or arrests adjudicated by the General Court of Justice through the criminal courts system are not subject to an internal appeal.
EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE
Basic Emergency Preparedness
Campus Police and Security recommends that you review the basic information below to ensure that you are prepared for potential emergency situations.
- Program the Campus Police telephone number into your cell phone (704.922.6480).
- Subscribe to GC Alert for text and/or email messages regarding weather and other important notices.
- Review the Emergency Response Guide (ERG).
- Know evacuation procedures (Exit-the-Building & Shelter-in-Place) located in the ERG.
- Participate in drills and training.
- Pay attention to emergency notifications (e.g., public address/PA announcements).
- Report suspicious persons and packages immediately to Campus Police.
- Be prepared for a hostile intruder/active shooter situation (Run-Hide-Fight & Lockdown)
Emergency Response Guide (ERG)
The College publishes an Emergency Response Guide (ERG) that is available in classrooms and other areas throughout the College.An online version is available at www.gaston.edu - click About Us - Campus Police and Safety - Emergency Preparedness and Emergency Response Guide (ERG). The ERG provides guidelines for various emergency situations, but does not cover every conceivable situation. Please take time to become familiar with the ERG.
Notification of Public Danger
In situations that are deemed to pose an immediate threat to the Campus Community, Campus Police will issue a notification or statement regarding the matter using various Emergency Notification Systems including: GC Alert, Public Address (PA System), webpage, College radio station, posting of notices and flyers, and College email.
Emergency Notification System (GC Alert)
Gaston College maintains several emergency notification systems including GC Alert, Public Address (PA System), webpage, and College email.The GC Alert System allows students and employees to receive text messages and/or emails to be notified of weather, emergencies, or other important situations.If you subscribe to GC Alert, please note the following:
- Phone numbers and/or email addresses will not be shared.
- Subscriptions are generally purged in January of odd-numbered years, which requires re-subscribing to GC Alert.
- There is no charge for signing up for GC Alert; however, depending on your cell phone plan, text-messaging rates may apply and are at the expense of the subscriber, not Gaston College.
Subscribing to GC Alert is easy. The subscription process is available at www.gaston.edu - click About Us - Campus Police and Safety - GC Alert.
Crime Prevention Tips
The Campus Police and Security Department strongly recommends that each person review the following tips in an effort to prevent crimes.
- Report any suspicious person or activity to Campus Police at 704.922.6480.
- Take a few minutes and think about how you would react to various crime-related situations such as a robbery.
- Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
- Be self-aware as to those times when you may be less alert such as during exams, when you are ill or not feeling well, or when tired, and focus on being vigilant.
- Use discretion and caution when taking shortcuts through isolated areas, including on campus.
- Do not leave personal items such as books, purses, keys, and cell phones unattended.
- Whenever possible, try to travel with others (in a group).
- Park your vehicle in lighted areas.
- Do not leave valuables in your vehicle.
- Always lock your vehicle and remember to take your keys with you. Note: If you lock your keys in your vehicle or need your battery “jumped,” contact Campus Police for assistance at 704.922.6480.
- As you approach your vehicle, have your keys in your hand and scan the area under and around your vehicle.
- Check the back seat and floor before you enter your vehicle.
- Lock your vehicle’s doors immediately after entering and while driving.
- If you have vehicle trouble, signal for help by raising the hood or tying a handkerchief to the door. Remain in your vehicle with doors locked until help arrives.
- Keep an emergency kit in your vehicle that contains items such as a flashlight, distress signs, a blanket, and bottled water.
- If someone tries to grab your bag or purse, it is often recommended that you let go of it because injuries can often occur by resisting.
- When using ATM machines, try to only use those that are clearly seen or inside a building. Push the cancel button to cancel your transaction if you believe the security of your personal information is being compromised.
- When using an elevator, try to remain next to the control panel. If you feel in danger, get off the elevator as soon as possible. (Note: Elevators are usually equipped with either an emergency phone or a push-button alarm).
- If using public transportation such as a bus, become familiar with the schedule to avoid long waits.
- If you believe someone might be following you, try to get to a public or populated area.
Concerns about Conduct
Gaston College has an expectation that all members of the College Community are to exercise responsible judgment and conduct themselves in accordance with generally accepted standards. If you are concerned about a conduct situation, you should do the following:
- For conduct that poses an immediate threat to the safety, security, or the well-being of the College Community, contact Campus Police and Security at 704.922.6480, or via a Panic Button on a computer desktop, or dial 911.
- If you have a concern about conduct that poses, or may reasonably be considered to pose, a threat to the College Community, you should report it.
- When in doubt, report it!
- If you have concerns about conduct or if you receive a report regarding concerns about conduct, use responsible judgment by reporting the information to one of the following persons or departments:
- Student Affairs Department (Vice President or Assistant Vice President)
- Campus Police and Security
- Vice President
- Human Resources Department (if conduct concern is regarding faculty or staff)
Please refer to the Student Code of Conduct section in this publication or the Emergency Response Guide (ERG) for additional information on Concerns about Conduct.
No Weapons Policy
It is a violation to possess or carry any weapon on College property including firearms, explosives, BB guns, stun guns, air rifles or pistols, sling shots, and knives or other sharp instruments. The only exceptions to this policy are for law enforcement and military personnel in the discharge of their official duties or as otherwise permitted by law, for ceremonial or educational purposes, or when tools such as knives are used for construction, maintenance, or food preparation.
Pursuant to G.S. 14-269, a person who has a concealed handgun permit in accordance with Article 54B, has a concealed handgun permit considered valid under G.S. 14-415.24, or is exempt from obtaining a permit pursuant to G.S. 14-415.25, is permitted to have a handgun provided it is in a closed compartment or container within the person’s locked vehicle and the vehicle is parked in a College parking area. A person may unlock the vehicle to enter or exit, but the handgun must remain in the closed compartment at all times and the vehicle must be locked immediately following the entrance or exit.
Violators may be subject to criminal prosecution. Faculty, staff, or student violators may also be subject to disciplinary action up to and including suspension, expulsion and/or dismissal.
Hostile Intruder/Active Shooter
If you witness or encounter a hostile intruder/active shooter, contact Campus Police and Security at 704.922.6480, or via a Panic Button on a computer desktop, or dial 911. In response, you should choose the safest option: Run, Hide, or Fight.
Run If there is a safe accessible escape path, try to evacuate the area.
Hide If evacuation is not possible, find a place to hide where the intruder is less likely to find you and follow the Lockdown guidelines (below).
Fight As a last resort, and only when your life is in danger, attempt to disrupt and/or incapacitate the intruder.
Lockdown (Hostile Intruder/Active Shooter)
In the event that a Lockdown is implemented for a hostile intruder/active shooter, you should:
- Remain calm and help others remain calm. Your actions will influence others.
- Find a place to hide where the intruder is less likely to find you. If you are in an open area, immediately seek protection by placing a barrier between you and the intruder.
- If safe to do so, check hallways or adjacent areas for others.
- Do not activate a fire alarm. If a fire alarm sounds during a lockdown, do not exit the building unless you see or smell smoke. If you see or smell smoke, follow the fire evacuation procedures.
- Silence your cell phone.
- Turn off lights, and if possible, lock and barricade doors.
- Take cover, stay out of sight, and remain quiet.
- Stay where you are until otherwise directed by emergency responders.
- If needed, and safe to do so, tear out the Red Crisis Card in the back of the ERG and use it to alert emergency responders of critical injuries or the need for attention by placing in a window or sliding under the door. If possible, write the room number in the white space on the card.
As part of hiding per the lockdown procedures, it may be necessary to move to a different location in a building, or in some cases run to avoid danger. If you determine that running is necessary, be sure it is safe to do so and have an escape plan in mind. If you are unsure, do not attempt to run, but continue to hide and follow the lockdown guidelines. Do not attempt to run if a hostile intruder/active shooter is between you and your escape path.
Domestic and Dating Violence
Domestic and dating violence is a serious problem and can happen to anyone. If you are a victim of domestic or dating violence, you should try to get to a safe place and contact Campus Police, another law enforcement agency, a shelter, and/or a friend or family member as soon as possible. Additional assistance is available at:
The Shelter of Gaston County
Department of Social Services
330 North Marietta Street
Gastonia, NC 28052
Telephone: 704.810.6495 or 704.810.6492
24-Hour Crisis Line: 704.852.6000
Additional information can be found online at http://www.gastongov.com/departments/shelter/web-links and on Gaston College’s homepage (www.gaston.edu).
Notes Regarding Sex Crimes
A person who is a potential or actual victim of a sex-related incident should remember the following:
- Clearly state your sexual limits to the other person and say “no” forcefully if pressured for unwanted sex.
- If the other person does not respond to “no,” try to get away by running and scream for help.
- To preserve any evidence, DO NOT wash your hands, bathe, shower, douche, change clothes, or disturb the area.
- Try to get to a safe place and contact Campus Police, another law enforcement agency, rape crisis or counseling center, and/or a friend or family member.
- Get medical attention as quickly as possible. The physician should collect specimens and make detailed notes about the physical evidence such as bruises, cuts, torn clothing, and traces of bodily fluids. You should be tested for sexually transmitted diseases and HIV. If you are female, you should be tested for pregnancy.
Reporting is a personal choice. Regardless of a person’s personal choice to report or not to report, a person should write down the details of an incident and seek any necessary medical treatment, including counseling and/or testing for sexually transmitted diseases and/or pregnancy.
Registered Sex Offenders
The Campus Sex Crime Prevention Act (2002) requires the College to publish the web address of where information can be obtained about registered sex offenders. This information is located at http://sexoffender.ncsbi.gov/.