USF beefs up security for start of fall classes
The former manager of emergency services for a western Ohio county with a population roughly that of the University of South Florida will be head of security at USF when classes resume Monday.
The university announced Thursday that Tom Cisco will oversee emergency operations in the event of a campus crisis. Cisco also will build campus safety groups and work closely with government agencies to prevent crises.
The appointment comes as USF launches several safety initiatives including the creation of a new division of public safety under the direction of Bruce Benson, former police chief and director of public safety at Michigan State University.
In the works is a coordinated emergency notification system featuring siren, loudspeaker and strobe light warnings. Additionally, university police will go on bicycle patrol to increase officer visibility and mobility on campus, and security officers are receiving additional training in traffic control, first aid and elevator rescue during power outages.
“While USF enjoys a generally safe campus, the security of students and employees is always of paramount concern,” USF president Judy Genshaft said in a news release. “Rapid, effective and organized response in an emergency is critical, and we’ve made this a priority despite a year of budget cuts.”
Donna Winchester, higher education reporter