This past Saturday afternoon, we at Harford Community College found ourselves dealing with reports of an active shooter on our campus. Reports that an armed individual was seen at the Harford Sports Complex had been received by the Harford County Department of Emergency Services. Within minutes, the campus's emergency procedures were fully implemented. The Harford County Sheriff's Office responded to the scene almost immediately and established a command post at Harford Technical High School.
In addition to police responders, HCC Vice Presidents Deb Cruise and Steven Thomas, Director for Marketing & Public Relations Nancy Dysard, Director for Public Safety Chris Swain, and RJ Heinlen, Manager for the Harford Sports Complex (HSC) joined me on campus at the command post. I commend everyone involved for responding quickly and calmly in a time of emergency, showing real leadership and dedication to HCC. I could not be more proud.
As a new resident, I am happy and proud to call Harford County home. However, I have never felt more gratified to be part of this great community as I was on Saturday when I witnessed firsthand the dedication and professionalism of the Sheriff's deputies and staff, as well as the other state and local law enforcement, Department of Emergency Services personnel, and emergency medical services personnel. They were incredibly well organized, proficient, thorough, and cooperative.
Each of us owes a huge debt of gratitude to our neighbors in public safety who run towards, rather than away from, a potentially dangerous situation, prepared to face whatever they may find. They represent the best of public service in its truest and deepest sense.
I personally, and on behalf of all of us at the College, send my deepest gratitude to all who responded to our call for assistance last Saturday.
Dianna G. Phillips, Ph.D.
Harford Community College