The Baptist College of Florida (BCF) in Graceville was recently featured on “CollegeCliffs’ 10 Colleges in Cities with The Lowest Crime Rate in 2020” as the number one safest campus in Florida. According to the 2019 security report published by the college, BCF has zero incidents of violence, theft, partying, or assault in the past three years. CollegeCliffs wrote in the article saying, “They have constantly worked with the local fire department and law enforcement agencies to ensure that the campus is safe not only for the students but also for those who live, work, or visit there.” Along with the efforts of the community support, BCF provides additional safety measures such as the strategically located storm shelters, campus safety, and security team.
Several years ago, in an effort to keep students safe and heighten the protection of The Baptist College of Florida (BCF) campus, BCF President Thomas A. Kinchen, in tandem with Miller and Miller Investigative and Security Services, established an Armed Security Emergency Response Team (ASERT) for the campus. “Our goal is to make BCF the safest campus in Florida,” stated Miller and Miller Investigative and Security Services Chief Wesley Miller. “This team is extremely dedicated to keeping the student and staff safe from any emergency from an active shooter to a weather-related emergency.” The team, five men and one-woman, complete rigorous training and extensive testing each year to be certified by the state while maintaining their professional calling to the institution as faculty and administrators. Current ASERT members include Academic Dean Robin Jumper, Curator for the Florida Baptist Archives and Professor of History and Christian Studies Roger Richards, Music and Worship Division Chair Bill Davis, Professor of Leadership and Christian Education and BCF Collegiate Disaster Relief Team Director David Coggins, Student Life and Marketing Director Sandra Richards, and Director of Campus Safety Olan Strickland.
With the support of the local law enforcement agencies coupled with the campus security team, BCF continues to make faculty, staff, and students safety a top priority. Another way that BCF safeguards the campus is by installing five storm shelters on the college campus. Four shelters are placed above the ground with each having varying sizes and capacities relative to the number of people designated for each shelter. The other shelter was placed underground at the back of the campus to accommodate the small housing area. Each shelter is rated to withstand 400 mile-per-hour winds and 200 mile-per-hour projectiles making the shelters capable of protecting students from devastating winds and storms or workplace violence. The heavy structures strategically located around the campus are a reminder of the value that BCF places upon its students. “We are entrusted with these precious lives, and their safety is a sacred responsibility,” stated Kinchen.
The safety of faculty, staff, and students has always been a primary concern of President Kinchen. Now, by adding safety policies and implementing procedures, BCF has increased safety awareness and provided the precautionary measures for all of the campus community. “We at The Baptist College of Florida are very pleased with our record of providing a safe and secure environment where students, faculty, and staff can work together to train the next greatest generation of workers who are “Changing the World Through the Unchanging Word,®”stated Kinchen.
For more information on campus security, the storm shelters, or how The Baptist College of Florida is staying safe, please call 800.328.2660 or visit the website at www.baptistcollege.edu.