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TCC professor writes book about school safety

Professor Antonio Passaro on TCC's Norfolk Campus.

Antonio Passaro Jr., Ph.D., started as a TCC student and is now the department chair and professor of TCC’s Criminal Justice program. He is also a published author who recently celebrated a book release.

Passaro was a first-generation college student who started his education at TCC and credits the school as being the reason for where he is today. “I know the foundation I got at the college set me on the path for my career success,” he said. “TCC also fostered my lifelong love of learning.”

After receiving his associate degree from TCC, he followed his passion for criminal justice. He had a 16-year career in law enforcement before returning to school and eventually earning his doctorate in Higher Education Leadership with a secondary concentration in Criminology and Criminal Justice from Old Dominion University.

Throughout his time in law enforcement, Passaro learned that it is important to plan for every circumstance whether it be obtaining a search warrant or protecting schools from danger. This concept inspired him to write a book titled, “Investigating the Design and Implementation of Operational Safety Plans for Crisis at Higher Education Institutions.” The book focuses on the importance of having a safety plan for higher education institutions and regularly practicing what to do in case of an emergency.

Colleges have safety plans in place for a variety of circumstances, but Passaro says the plans are worthless if they are not practiced. “When the safety plan is practiced regularly, faculty, staff and students will know exactly what to do if an occasion arises,” he said. “They will be able to act immediately in an efficient manner that keeps everyone safe.”

The biggest challenge that Passaro faced when writing this book was the lack of existing research on the subject. He was able to overcome this challenge and become one of the first authors to publish a book on his topic. While being a trailblazer can be daunting, Passaro urges students aspiring to become authors to “move their fears away and be led by their dreams.”