Security concerns raised at Tidewater Community College

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — WAVY.com is uncovering what appears to be concerns over lack of security at Tidewater Community College libraries.

This comes after our initial investigation about a man exposing himself to a woman at the new TCC Joint Use Library in Virginia Beach. When we checked out the library for ourselves, we found something was missing –security cameras.

Our investigation uncovered faculty meetings in Chesapeake where security concerns were the topic of the day. Critics say TCC has done little to address those concerns.

“I didn’t feel safe there anymore,” said Carol, who didn’t want to be identified. For six years, she worked at the library on the TCC Chesapeake Campus until she felt so unsafe she says she had to quit: “Patrons that were looking at pornography, masturbating … I’d complain, and the administration didn’t want to do much about it.”

Carol called 10 On Your Side after watching our story on the indecent exposure case in the TCC Virginia Beach library.

“You should know … it’s not just that woman student … a lot of the employees have raised their concerns at TCC, and it has fallen on deaf ears,” she said.

The Virginia Beach victim is shocked TCC security did not have a security camera at the front door of the library: “No camera, no camera in a public facility on a public campus? The Virginia Beach police who responded seemed shocked they had no security camera anywhere.”

WAVY.com asked TCC Spokesperson James Toscano about the lack of security cameras at the library and pointed out that if there had been one at the front door of the Virginia Beach library, the guy who exposed himself would have been caught on camera instead of going free.

“We will look closely at that issue,” Toscano said.

WAVY.com uncovered minutes from an October TCC Chesapeake Campus faculty leadership meeting where concerns were expressed over the security “currently in place or not in place.”

Toscano said, “What we believe, we have adequate security in place with an eye to constantly improving it.”

In November, Chesapeake faculty raised questions again: “Why no armed security? Why no cameras? Why no mandatory sign-in to use the Chesapeake Campus Library computers?”

Carol raised these issues too.

“They did nothing while I was there, and I faced a lot of hostility for even bringing it up,” she said.

In December, TCC’s Director of Safety and Security told the faculty that “TCC has close relationship with city police … executive staff does not believe campus police force necessary; budget issues part of that decision.”

WAVY.com pointed out to Toscano not one of his security guards is armed.

“I think the security force we have in place is adequate,” he said.

Toscano said TCC security improvements include new internal locks and phones in classrooms. It is clear from our investigation, however, TCC depends solely on local police to handle any case that requires a gun in the hands of law enforcement.

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