by Oscar G. Borello
Within the last two years, Security has improved in noticeable ways to continue their efforts in crime prevention.
Among these are a higher visibility level around campus, improved lighting conditions and security personnel available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Visibility is a major factor for the Campus Public Safety Department. “That is one of the main reasons we got the Daihatsu (security cart),” said Tom Erickson, one of the full-time security guards. “It is more effective than driving the La Verne vans around, because you’ll immediately know it’s us.”
Also within the last year, the guards have been fully uniformed. This not only imports a sense of professionalism, but also achieves a higher level of visibility.
There have also been additions to the staff by the hiring of more student workers, who patrol particular areas assigned to them. This was done in direct response to burglaries committed within the last two years, particularly at the Oaks Residence Hall. There is one student worker at the Studebaker-Hanawalt Residence Hall, Brandt Hall, and the Oaks at different assigned times.
Another addition to Security’s arsenal is the new call box system located outside every residence hall. To enter, a person must use the box to call a resident in his or her room and the resident will open the door. “It is a very user-friendly system,” said Eduardo Cortez, one of the student workers. “If you need to get in, you just look through the directory, find the person’s name, and call. It’s that simple.”
Monday, Director of Public Safety Robert Rodriguez began a short leave of absence for health reasons. His interim replacement will be Erickson.
Security guard Bill Singleton said, “our efforts at patrolling more and being more visible have apparently been effective.”
There have been seven grand thefts, no motor vehicle thefts, two burglaries, and 13 petty thefts. This is considerably lower than the previous two years.
One student, senior Bill Battin, does not share the same sentiment and said, “I don’t ever see the security guards around the Oaks, and some students don’t feel as safe there as in Stu-Han, especially because of those burglaries that happened.”
Another concern students have is the lack of lighting around campus. “The recent installment of some lights around the school has alleviated some fears, but there are still some dark areas that need to be lit better,” says Cortez. “We don’t really have any say on the matter, but the school should light the whole place up a little more.”
Security is in close cooperation with the La Verne Police and Fire Departments. If the need ever arises, Security assists them in emergencies involving students on or within close proximity to the campus.
Some of the other services provided for the students include the safety of all students and staff, handling medical and fire emergencies and the control of underage drinking and narcotics usage.
There is also an escort service from dusk to dawn, in which students who feel the need for escorts can call for assistance. The number is (909) 596-3549.
“You can sleep well at night and not worry about anything because you are in good hands with the Security Department. Everybody in the department is committed to their work and they believe in what they do, and that is why their dedication is apparent in the crime rate on campus,” said Cortez.