By Inspector Chip Googe, Mount Pleasant Police Department Public Information Officer
MOUNT PLEASANT, SC – The Mount Pleasant Police Department added a section to their free smartphone application called Safe Campus. This form allows anyone to anonymously send information to the police department regarding behavior that could be considered harmful to the school, a student, or a staff member. Cario Middle School created a form two years ago that was the inspiration to expand this service to all students in Mount Pleasant.
“Students can report bullying, threats of violence, threats of vandalism, or any criminal act that could threaten the safety of one of their campuses,” says Chief Carl Ritchie. “They can also report anything on their campus that may be a safety concern such as a fire extinguisher missing, an unlocked gate, or a door that is not properly secured.”
Users have the option of furnishing the police department with their name and contact information but it is not required to submit the information. “The only information required is a description of what they saw or heard,” says Inspector Chip Googe. “You have the option to remain anonymous.”
Towards the bottom of the form there is an option to attach a photo with your submission. This is useful if someone sees a photograph or threat online as they can then send a screenshot of the harmful behavior or threat. The form is sent immediately to the School Resource Officers, and their supervisors, for follow-up.
“This is a great example of the strong partnership between two outstanding community assets; our volunteer parents at schools and our police department,” says Council Member Kevin Cunnane. “Their commitment to keeping our children and teachers safe is second to none! I am thankful for the willingness of these two groups to expand upon a successful program at one school and make it town-wide.”
If the user is reporting behavior that is likely to cause harm to someone in the immediate future, please call 911 or 843-743-7200 to report the information. “We do not want this form to be used if someone is currently harming someone or if the harm is likely to happen within a short time frame,” says Inspector Googe. “Calling 911, alerting a school administrator, or calling the police dispatch line are the best options for situations that are imminent.”