Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Safety Alerts and Timely Warnings

PCC Alert Notifications and Timely Warnings

PCC’s Department of Public Safety (DPS) commonly issues two types of notification messages: Timely Warnings and PCC Safety Alerts. Whether to issue a timely warning or a PCC Safety Alert (and the content of the messages) is decided on a case-by-case basis, considering all the facts, including the nature of the incident, the continuing danger to the campus community, the promotion of safety, and the possible risk of compromising law enforcement efforts.

When the Department of Public Safety Office learns of crimes covered by the Clery Act, it will consider whether to issue a “timely warning” about the threat. A “timely warning” may be issued if, in the judgment of the Director of the Public Safety and/or the Vice President of Finance & Administration, a crime or potential crime constitutes a serious or continuing threat to the campus community. Timely warnings and PCC Safety Alerts may be issued in a variety of methods, depending on the circumstances of the crime or incident. These can include:

  1. Printed notice: When appropriate may be posted at campus locations or provided to key personnel that has or may be affected by the incident.
  2. Website posting: DPS issues of ongoing concern to the campus community are posted on the Public Safety website, under Safety Alerts.
  3. Local media: May also be provided information when the risk of harm in a particular incident can reasonably be expected to extend to off-campus areas.
  4. Campus or district-wide email: Disseminated by Marketing and Communications or DPS at the direction of the Vice President of Finance and Administration or the Public Safety Director
  5. On-Campus Emergency Alert Notification System (OCEANS): If a significant emergency or dangerous situation occurs on campus that, in the judgment of a member of the Department of Public Safety,  Director of Public Safety, or the Vice President of Finance and Administration, creates an immediate threat to the health or safety of students or employees, the OCEANS system will be used to make notification to individuals who are on campus.  These situations normally involve a lock-out or lockdown incident.
  6. PCC Alerts: Can be issued for emergency notifications that may include notices of a campus closure or delayed opening, a fire, gas leak, or an outbreak of a communicable disease, as well as a notice of a Clery reportable crime. To sign up for PCC Alerts text messages, log into MyPCC and click the “Sign up for PCC Alerts” link in the MyPCC Home tab’s Quick Links channel. For any questions related to PCC Alerts, please send an email to: pccalerts@pcc.edu.

On-Campus Emergency Announcement System (OCEANS)

During an emergency, such as a lockout or lockdown, you may hear a message played over the speaker system.  To hear what these sound like, view the following videos:

Alarm only

Lockdown/Active threat on campus

When a lockdown occurs, an audible lockdown alert tone will sound, indicating an emergency. This will be followed by a message with instructions on how to proceed.

A lockdown occurs when an active threat is present on campus, or in a campus building. A lockdown is a campus-wide measure that will affect all facilities at the campus the incident is taking place.

All external AND interior doors equipped with access control will be locked from Public Safety Dispatch Center. Doors without access control will have to be locked manually.

Lockdown ends when the “all clear” message is played.


Lockouts are a preemptive, preventative measure taken to restrict access to one or more campus facilities. Unlike a lockdown, a lockout may only affect one, or several, buildings on campus. If a criminal incident or other condition does not pose a direct threat to a campus a lockout may be implemented. A lockout means that only exterior doors are locked and that you will be able to exit the building but you will not be able to re-enter.

When a lockout occurs, an audible alert tone will sound, followed by a message with instructions on how to proceed.

Generally, academic instruction and campus business will continue indoors during a lockout but extra caution should be used until conditions return to normal.

Lockout ends when the “all clear” message is played.

Power outage

Evacuation drill

Police Activity in the Area

All Clear