On Tuesday, Nov. 15, Samford’s Director of Public Safety and Deputy Emergency Manager Chief Tommy Taylor sent an email to the Samford community containing an update on campus safety protocols. The email included an attached PDF with “Quick Emergency Facts” of which each Samford student should be aware.
The email also included mention of Samford’s “No Weapons Allowed” requirement. Taylor said this email was inspired by the recent shooting at the University of Virginia and by the University of Idaho students found dead in a home off-campus, both on Sunday, Nov. 13.
“I just think it’s good for everybody to just be wise about what’s going on around them and what’s going on in the world,” Taylor said.
Taylor wants students to take notice of the PDF that was attached to the email, as it contains practical ways in which students can increase their safety on campus, because he believes that campus safety is everyone’s responsibility. Samford hosts 20 police officers for its 6,000 students, and Taylor presents a call to action for students to help the officers by being their eyes and ears on campus.
“I just want to make sure the campus is aware that certainly the Samford police station takes really, really good care of the institution and the campus as a whole but that it’s everyone’s responsibility,” Taylor said.
The email sent to the student body mentioned Samford’s “If You See Something, Say Something” mantra. Taylor continued that, whether on campus or off campus, students should do their very best to report anything they see that is out of the ordinary.
“So many things that people see and that they read about online, so many of them can be avoided if someone will simply just call the police department, not just at Samford but anywhere,” Taylor said.
Taylor believes strongly that Samford is a “remarkably safe campus,” and it is not just the police officers who contribute to that.
“Sometimes, we get so comfortable because Samford is truly such a remarkably safe campus, and I don’t say that lightly, because everybody works hard to make that happen,” Taylor said. “It’s not just public safety that does that; it’s the campus as a whole that works hard to make those things happen.”
Most students at Samford report feeling safe on campus. Junior Audrey Blevins echoed that sentiment.
“I feel as safe as anywhere else I could ever be,” Blevins said.
However, Blevins said that because of her gender and her size, she knows she has to be aware wherever she is, whether that’s on or off campus.
“It kind of doesn’t really matter where I am; I just always have to be alert,” Blevins said.Chief Taylor and the rest of the police officers on campus work hard each day to make students feel safe on campus. Taylor said students are welcome to contact him at any time at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 205-726-2020.