Security assessment completed

by Christie Reed
Editorial Director

ULV’s Department of Public Safety underwent a thorough assessment May 1-3, which brought the spring semester to a close and left on-campus security with a lengthy list of constructive criticisms.

Dr. Loretta Rahmani, acting dean of Student Affairs, clarifies that the security assessment was not an audit such as one performed by the IRS, but was just a check-up that had been planned for more than two years.

“The goal of every department here on campus is to provide continuous quality improvement,” said Dr. Rahmani.

The external assessment was requested by Dr. Rahmani after she realized that both Skip Mainiero and Bruce Barron, the previous vice presidents of finance for the University, had toyed with the idea but had never followed through.

“I said, ‘I think it’s right. I think it’s time,“ said Dr. Rahmani, who was placed in charge of security in December of 1994.

The external assessment was a service offered by the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administration (IACLEA), an organization that provides campus consulting, to which Barron is a member.

With additional funding and support by President Stephen Morgan and Steve Grey, ULV’s chief financial officer, a management assessment team was sent out by IACLEA.

The team was led by John J. Carpenter, director of public safety of San Diego State University, who was assisted by team member James Huffman, director of public safety at Pepperdine University.

The assessment included a review of all aspects of the Department of Public Safety, totaling 19 topic areas. A 39-page report was written offering recommendations on how to improve the department holistically.

Several recommendations included developing a role and mission plan to create a more community-oriented program that works closely with the La Verne Police Department.

The assessment also advised the University to create more positive security presence in residence halls and the Student Center by having them work more closely with resident life staff, student leaders, faculty and student groups. Security officers may also consider using bicycles to respond more rapidly to emergencies around campus. In addition, training for the officers should be upgraded or new criteria should be added before hiring. More officers should be assigned to the evening and night shifts.

In response to increasing policing and upgrading the training, Chief of Security Robert Rodriguez agrees with many of the recommendations.“It is possible that agents lack training because many are just older students,” said Rodriguez.

He also agreed with the possibility of increasing the total number of officers from six to nine, and having 24 hour dispatchers but adds that would require an increase in budget which could take months to acquire.

“Some recommendations are within reach and some are not,” said Rodriguez. “We do the best with what we have.”

Dr. Morgan was first to see the report and feels ULV was given many good suggestions by the organization.

“I think there should be more formal training for the officers, but everything must be prioritized first,” said Dr. Morgan.

Dr. Rahmani has already started exploring what needs to be done and in what order.

“First we must prioritize, then address and finally allocate,” she said.

Rodriguez and Drs. Morgan and Rahmani all agree that the report was positive.

“Three other departments have had recent assessments and they are just a way of insuring constant improvement,” said Dr. Rahmani.

No immediate changes will take place but budget requests may be made as soon as October or November and could be approved as soon as January or February according to Dr. Rahmani.

“We are constantly seeking ways to improve the departments at ULV. La Verne has grown and times have changed,”said Dr. Morgan.

Christie Reed, Editor in Chief
Christie Reed
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