April 11, 2017

Contact: Zina L. Carter


Danny Terronez, Wharton County Junior College‚s Security and Public Safety Director, demonstrates the college‚s radio system, which allows department offices to communicate directly with security in the event of an emergency. The radios were purchased and installed as part of a comprehensive, $1.3 million effort to improve safety and security at the college‚s Wharton, Bay City and Richmond campuses.

From security cameras to exterior lighting to remote-controlled door locks, Wharton County Junior College is taking the safety of its students and staff seriously.

Since 2015, the college’s Safety and Security Advisory Committee has outlined several key projects aimed at improving the security systems at the Wharton, Bay City and Richmond campuses. A portion of the projects have already been completed, while others have received approval by the WCJC Board of Trustees but are still pending.

The security improvements and upgrades include:
• Updated locks on more than 660 classrooms and offices at the Wharton and Richmond campuses – completed January 2017.
• Display of the security department’s phone number in prominent locations – completed May 2016.
• Body cameras for security officers and cameras in WCJC vans and bus – completed fall 2016.
• New radio system that allows department offices to communicate directly with security, maintenance and other pertinent officials during an emergency – completed summer 2016.
• Deadbolts added to residence hall doors – completed January 2017.
• Installation of personal safes for all residence hall students – completed summer 2016.
• Improved LED exterior lighting at the Wharton campus – ongoing.
• Installation of locking system that allows campus-wide “lock-down” – ongoing.
• Installation of video cameras in parking areas and door access points – ongoing.
• Installation of a Public Address System for interior and exterior areas – ongoing.
• Installation of interior electronic signage and displays for emergency announcement – ongoing

Once the entire list is completed, the college will have spent roughly $1.3 million. WCJC President Betty McCrohan believes that’s money well spent.

“You can’t place a price tag on the safety of your students, faculty and staff,” McCrohan said. “These state-of-the-art upgrades and improvements will allow the college to provide a safe environment for learning and for achieving personal goals.”

The upgrades will be completed in four parts: Phase I will encompass the new electronic locking system, Phase II will focus on the installation of the video cameras, Phase III will involve the Public Address System and Phase IV will comprise the installation of the interior electronic signage. The project contractor is anticipated to begin Phase I later this month.

Danny Terronez, WCJC’s Security and Public Safety Director, said the upgrades will be of benefit to all who set foot on WCJC’s Wharton, Richmond and Bay City campuses.

“These projects will provide a safe environment for staff, students and visitors to the campus,” Terronez said.