After more than ten years of service as a trooper with the Utah Highway Patrol, Lt. Jalaine Hawkes now shifts her attention to Salt Lake Community College as the school’s next section commander.
Congratulations to our newest Lieutenant! Lt. Hawkes will be assigned to section 21 at Salt Lake Community College. She is a member of our UHP Honor Guard and serves as a weekend PIO. pic.twitter.com/svCHMhvnjc
— Utah Highway Patrol (@UTHighwayPatrol) September 13, 2018
In her new role, Hawkes is already working to improve response times among the agencies assigned to SLCC campuses. However, she has discovered that the campus community can also do more to reduce confusion and delay.
“One of the things we are trying to make progress with is how incidents are reported,” says Hawkes.
Hawkes says that instead of directly phoning the police, people on campus who witness unusual or suspicious activity will generally call friends, coworkers or supervisors. As a result, Hawkes sees obstacles in responding in a timely manner.
“Often, reports and responses are slowed by people calling each other and trying to find solutions instead of calling us and letting troopers handle it,” adds Hawkes.
A recent incident on campus involving a student whose video project raised concerns during filming is a prime example of crumbling communication in emergency situations.
“The project alerted many people on campus,” says Hawkes, “but because of the breakdown in communication and people trying to hear what happened, the time it took before being reported was far too long.”
In turn, UHP assigned to SLCC campuses often takes the blame for slow response times. However, providing that people on campus report incidents directly to UHP, dispatch is capable of sending officers almost instantaneously to handle the situation.
Additionally, UHP, in conjunction with other local and state agencies, has been holding training drills known as Rescue Task Force Exercises, in which first responders acclimate themselves to protocols of mass casualty and violent intruder scenarios.
“Currently, I’m working to forge stronger connections with Utah’s Unified Police Department, West Valley Police as well as fire and EMS, to ensure that response time to any campus is minimized,” states Hawkes.
Hawkes also adds that while SLCC only has a total of 15 assigned officers, an increased police presence, or visibility, will be a mainstay of her command as section commander.
“Police visibility is imperative in deterring intruders or illegal activity, and I hope everyone knows they can call us from any campus phone. Dial [extension] 3800 and speak directly to the UHP dispatch center, no matter how ‘insignificant’ the issue,” says Hawkes.
Active-shooter scenarios have become increasingly common in the United States, but SLCC has procedures in place to help navigate those situations. Police Services has also provided a list of agencies that respond to specific campuses.
To contact UHP from a SLCC campus, call 801-957-3800.