Polk State College is committed to providing students, faculty, staff, and visitors with a safe and secure environment. Security is provided 24 hours a day, 365 days a year on both the Winter Haven and Lakeland campuses.
In the event of an emergency, you can reach Security by pushing the call button on one of the emergency towers or by calling the Security Communications Center.
Lost-and-found is located in the Security offices on both the Winter Haven and Lakeland campuses.
Polk State College security officers have the authority to ask persons for identification and to determine whether the individuals have lawful business at the College. Security officers have the authority to issue parking violations to students, faculty, and staff. Security officers do not have law enforcement authority or possess arrest powers. Criminal incidents are referred to local law enforcement agencies that have jurisdiction on the campus. The College Security Department maintains a good working relationship with the Winter Haven Police Department, Polk County Sheriff’s Department, Lakeland Police Department, and Lake Wales Police Department. Security officers often collaborate with police officers when crimes or other incidents requiring a police response are reported.
The following are some simple precautions that can be taken to reduce your possibility of becoming a crime victim:
- Do not leave valuables in plain view inside your vehicle
- Always lock your car doors
- Do not leave valuables unattended at any time (this includes textbooks)
- When using a locker on campus, always lock it
- Do not share your password with anyone
- Immediately report any suspicious incidents or persons to the security office
In the event of a significant threat to the safety or health of the college community, Polk State will immediately notify the community and give directions for responding to the threat. These communications will be made via the Polk State Emergency Notification System.
The Polk State Emergency Notification System consists of the Wide-Area Emergency Broadcast System (WEBS), the InformaCast-Berbee System, Polk State College Alert, and staff and student e-mail accounts.
WEBS will broadcast announcements over loudspeakers that are located in outdoor campus locations and in common areas inside campus buildings.
InformaCast-Berbee will broadcast voice and text messages to all IP phones connected to the network.
Polk State College Alert will send messages to registered mobile phones, wireless PDAs, pagers, and/or e-mail addresses. In addition, e-mail messages may be sent to all Polk State students, staff, and faculty e-mail addresses.
In some cases, face-to-face communication may be used to notify individuals about an emergency on campus. The Polk State web page will also be used, along with some or all of the options described previously, to provide follow-up information to the college community during an emergency situation.
Students, faculty, and staff are expected to evacuate campus buildings if they hear a fire alarm or if they are notified by first responders or the campus administration that an evacuation is necessary. They receive information about evacuation and shelter-in-place procedures through the Polk Emergency Notification System.
If ordered to evacuate, take your personal belongings (purse, wallet, Polk ID card, etc.) and follow the evacuation procedures for your building. Once you have evacuated, proceed to the predesignated rally point or to a safe location. If police or fire department personnel are on the scene, follow their directions.
Regardless of location, the basic steps of shelter-in-place will generally remain the same. Should the need ever arise, campus community members should follow these steps, unless instructed otherwise by local emergency personnel:
- People inside a building will stay where they are. They will collect any emergency shelter-in-place supplies and a telephone to be used in case of emergency. If outdoors, they will proceed into the closest building or follow instructions from emergency personnel on the scene.
2. They will locate a room to shelter inside. It should be:
- an interior room
- above ground level
- without windows or with the least number of windows
- if there is a large group of people inside a particular building, several rooms may be necessary
They will also:
- Shut and lock all windows and close exterior doors
- Turn off air conditioners, heaters, and fans
- Close vents to ventilation systems as they are able
- Make a list of the people with them and ask someone to call the list in to the Polk State Safety/Security Department
- Remain calm
Polk State College does not have procedures for voluntary, confidential reporting of crimes. Because college reports are public records, the college cannot hold reports of crimes in confidence. Violations of the law will be referred to the appropriate local law enforcement agency, to the dean of student services and to the campus provost on the Winter Haven or Lakeland campus.
A daily crime log is available for review during normal business hours at the Security Office in the LMB building on the Lakeland campus and in the WMS building on the Winter Haven campus. Information about crimes typically include the case number, classification, date reported, date occurred, time occurred, general location, and disposition of each crime.
Sexual Predator or Offender Notice
Florida Law requires persons designated as sexual offenders or predators to register with the Sheriff’s Office if they are enrolled, employed, or carrying on a vocation at an institution of higher education in this state. The offender must report the following information: name, address, and county of each institution, including each campus attended, and the sexual offender’s enrollment or employment status. Each change in enrollment or employment status shall be reported in person at the Sheriff’s Office, within 48 hours after any change in status.
Information about registered sexual offenders and predators may be obtained through the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, or by calling the FDLE hotline (1.888.357.7332) or visiting the FDLE website at fdle.state.fl.us.
Alcoholic Beverages and Illicit Drugs
Polk State College is a drug-free work place and a drug-free academic institution. College employees and students are prohibited from the unlawful possession, use, sale, or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol on college property or as part of college activities.
Firearms and/or Weapons
Possession of the following items is strictly prohibited on Polk State College property and at college-sponsored events: firearms, electric weapons or devices, destructive devices, razor blades, box cutters, knives, metallic knuckles, and other deadly weapons. Possession of these items will constitute a felony under Florida State Statute 790.115.
Persons licensed by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to carry concealed firearms or weapons are prohibited from carrying firearms or weapons on Polk State College property pursuant to Florida State Statute 790.06 (12)(a)(13).
Victims of Sexual Assault
If a person is the victim of a sexual assault at Polk State, the first priority is to go to a place of safety, call 911 or the appropriate law enforcement agency based on the location of the assault, and then call Polk State College Security. Polk State’s security officers will assist the victim in notifying the local law enforcement agency. Time is a critical factor for evidence collection and preservation.
College Judicial Action
Polk State College has a formal Discipline and Due Process Policy that is coordinated through the dean of student services. This policy is available via the Polk State College website and DBOT Rule 4.01.
Emergency Phone Numbers
|Polk State Security||
|Polk State Help Center Winter Haven||
|Polk State Help Center Lakeland||
|Dean of Student Services Winter Haven||
|Dean of Student Services Lakeland||
|Winter Haven Police Department||
|Lakeland Police Department||
|Polk County Sheriff’s Office||
|Lake Wales Police Department||