WCPD chief provides annual safety, security report
The WC Board of Trustees selected new officers to serve from 2023-25. From left are WC President Tod Allen Farmer, board secretary Lela Morris, board chair Dan Carney and board vice chair Doug Dowd.
Weatherford College Police Chief Anthony Bigongiari presented his annual safety and security briefing to the WC Board of Trustees during their June meeting Thursday afternoon.
“Keeping our students safe is our highest priority,” he said. “You can never truly be ready for an active shooter situation. So, our goal is constant improvement.”
WCPD is now fully staffed with 11 officers: seven full-time, one part-time and three reservists. There are also about a dozen unarmed security officers to augment the department.
Since his report to the board last year, the department has continued its quarterly training with the Weatherford Police Department, having officers complete the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training, and maintaining strong, foundational relationships with students through regular, personal interactions.
Bigongiari said the department’s motto for the next academic year is “More visible and better prepared.”
To that end, he plans to implement more highly-visible patrols in densely populated areas and at high traffic times with each officer required to patrol for a minimum of one hour each day.
He has also budgeted to replace and upgrade equipment, scheduled more intense training and is continuing to cultivate strong community partnerships.
The college is assisting with an active shooter scenario later this month with WPD, taking on the role of victims. At the end of the month, the college is hosting the quarterly meeting for the Fort Worth Intelligence Exchange.
WCPD also has a tabletop exercise scheduled for the end of July with all key personnel on campus focused on a hazmat scenario.
Regarding other training, Stop the Bleed kits will be on campus by the end of summer and will be added everywhere there is an existing AED (emergency defibrillator). Samantha Grimsley, coordinator for the EMS program, will offer training on how to use the kits to all employees during the fall semester.
And after several successful employee CRASE training courses (Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events), Bigongiari plans to add the training to fall in-service training for all employees. Training may be added to student orientation in the future.
In addition, the board selected officers for 2023-25 with Dan Carney serving as chair, Doug Dowd as vice chair and Lela Morris as secretary.
Carney, the previous vice chair, has served on the board since his appointment in 2020 and election in 2021. Dowd was appointed in 2021 and won election this May. Morris was elected in 2017 and re-elected in May of this year. She continues in her role as secretary.
The board also:
- Approved the minutes of the May 11 and May 16 board meetings.
- Approved the financial reports ending May 31.
- Approved the quarterly investment report.
- Approved the proposals for an associate of arts degree in mass communications, an associate of applied sciences in radio/TV broadcasting, an AAS in welding and a bachelor of applied arts and sciences degree in interdisciplinary studies.
- Approved the renewal of independent audit services with Snow Garrett Williams.
- Approved the renewal of mechanical and electrical contracting services with Able Mechanical, Enviromatic Systems Services, Inc., G&G Electric Services, Inc., and Infinity Contractors Int’l LTD.
- Approved the renewal of commercial chart bus services with Lone Star Coaches.
- Approved a contract for the purchase of fleet vehicles from Jerry’s GM LLC and Roger Williams Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM.
- Approved a resolution authorizing the method of procurement on construction, delegation of authority and delegees selections of committee for the Coyote Village re-roofing project.
- Received written updates from WC Wise County, academics and student services.
- Was briefed on the status of the college budget with House Bill 8 currently sitting on the governor’s desk. A formal presentation on the budget was postponed until the details of the bills are better known.
In his president’s report, Farmer:
- Congratulated coach Jeff Lightfoot, his assistant coaches and the entire Coyote baseball team on completing the best season in WC history following their third-place finish at the NJCAA Division I World Series.
- Recognized Dr. Hyeyoung Song on her recent selection for induction to the Steinway & Sons Teacher Hall of Fame.
- Announced the National Fastpitch Coaches Association has recognized 11 Coyote softball players as NFCA All-America Scholar Athletes for maintaining a grade point average of 3.5 or higher for the 2022-23 academic year.
- Announced that WC rodeo coach Johnny Emmons and three rodeo students are headed to the College National Finals Rodeo next week in Casper, Wyoming.
- Provided an enrollment update: As of June 5, there were 1,748 students enrolled in summer sessions, up from 1,563 this time last year. This represents an 11.6 percent increase. With enrollment for the Fall 2023 semester ongoing, there are currently 1,578 students signed up for classes, a 13.7 percent increase from this time last year.