By Roy Holmes

Photo by Flex Point Security on Unsplash 

In many ways the security team at Skagit Valley college is connected to the community. A Skagit Valley officer, Rodrigo Valdes, explains what security does for the community and how they work together to make a safe environment.

The security department provides several duties to the community in and around the college. Valdes explains “We protect the students and staff at the campus during the school quarter and also at events hosted by the school.” Security does more than just protect the community; they also serve as an information hub for students . Valdes explains “ We answer a lot of questions for students, for instance if they are lost and looking for class we will assist them to their building”. Officer Rodrigo has been a full time security member for several years now at the Mount Vernon campus. Valdes says “In my time I have built many connections with students and staff and I feel a part of everything the school offers, I wouldn't want to be anywhere else”. The community and security department work together to provide a safe and friendly environment. The community gives back to the security department by being kind and creating a friendly environment. Valdes says “ The members of the staff and students are great to us, I am very fortunate to be a part of this community in Skagit and it has felt like home since the beginning when I started”.

Students should follow all safety rules and procedures to make operation safe and friendly at the college campus. That includes parking restrictions and campus safety rules. As a former student and long time employee at Skagit Valley college Rodrigo is a great example of a security member that is involved and connected to the community. Valdes says “I love it, being a part of this community here in Mount Vernon and being able to help students and protect staff and students during school”. Valdes says “I plan on staying employed with Skagit Valley College in Mount Vernon and seeing what I can do to expand my abilities here and continue to serve everyone”.

There are several events that require the security staff to all be present and connect with the community. Valdes says “A big event where me and the other security members feel connected to the community is on graduation. We are fully staffed there to help”. The security department duties range from parking instructions, directing visitors, and general security during graduation day. Valdes says “This is a big community day involving lots of face to face interactions and is a great time to meet folks and help out.” Other big events involving the full security staff are orientation, sporting events, and tours from other colleges.

If a community member wishes to reach the security department at Skagit Valley College they can by phone or in person at the security office located in the cardinal center. Valdes says “The best way to get a hold of the security department at the Mount Vernon campus is through the main phone number which is 360-416-7777. There is someone on shift all the time and they will answer your calls.” Anybody that calls the security department number is automatically transferred straight to the security members work cell phone they carry while on duty. Meaning they can answer and return calls at any point in their shift. For people in the community wanting to give back to the security department. Valdes asks “Just introducing yourself to the security members and come say hi to us when you see us in the hallway, it would be great. Then this way you guys feel comfortable around us and have another connection for when you have questions”. Another possible time for the security to connect with students and staff at skagit, would be a meet and greet day. A day where security members could pop into classrooms during the beginning of the school year and introduce themselves to the students so they can learn the security members are another great team member for resources and questions.

Rodrigo was a former skagit valley college student himself. Valdes said “I was a student at SVC myself, I followed the parks and law academy, then I furthered my education at Western Washington University. While I was at Western I was able to intern at Skagit Valley college security. After that I became a part time member leading to a full time security position.” Rodrigo plans to continue his education online to receive a masters degree. He plans to still stay employed at skagit valley college and see what other opportunities he can bring to the community. We are very lucky at Skagit Valley College to have such supportive and friendly members of the community such as Rodrigo, by working together we all make the campus a safe and great learning environment.