Campus safety conversations continue

By Greg MacDonald

October 25, 2023 - 01:12 PM

In response to a string of crimes reported on campus during September and October, Mt. SAC held a Campus Safety Forum on Oct. 11 to discuss ways to keep students, staff, and faculty safe.

A second Campus Safety Forum is planned for Oct. 26 from 2:30-4:30 p.m. in Building 13-1700 and will be streamed on Mt. SAC’s YouTube channel. At this forum, President Martha Garcia will moderate, and live questions will be pulled from the in-person audience.

“The recent incidents have left many of you fearful, anxious, and concerned about safety. I would like to inform you that I share your concerns,” said Mt. SAC President/CEO Dr. Martha Garcia. “We must do more to support and protect one another. I request that we unite to support and care for each other and our students. Your safety and well-being and students’ safety and well-being is our priority.”

The campus has already taken a number of increased safety measures.

Police and Campus Safety officers are making it a priority to spend more time out of their vehicles and patrolling the campus on foot.

“We’ve asked them to spend about 50 percent of their time walking,” Mt. SAC Chief of Police Mike Williams said. “Keep in mind, that will be influenced by the numbers of calls they receive.”

Another solution introduced is the addition of extra security staff in a partnership with Contemporary Services Corporation. These security staff members work alongside the Mt. SAC Police and Campus Safety to provide increased visibility on campus and support safety escorts.

“The safe walk program will be managed through our Risk Management Department,” said Shannon Carter, Associate Vice President of Administrative Services. “We want to look at not only safe walks, but any safety issue on campus. We are looking to have people in strategic locations – like Building 26 and highly populated areas – where you can see someone and say, ‘Hey, I have a question’ or ‘Hey, I have a safety concern.’”

A popular topic among the frequently asked questions by many online and at the forum centered on the topic of security cameras. So what is the status of cameras on campus?

“We have cameras in our parking structures, we have cameras that are being installed in the new Student Center, Transit Center, etc.,” Williams said. “Our goal is to install cameras in other public spaces too.”

Self defense classes are also being developed and will soon be launched.

To contact Police and Campus Safety, call (909) 274-4555. For Student Health Services, call (909) 274-4400. In addition to those resources, there are emergency phones on campus and in outlying parking areas. Pushing the circular button on the panel will directly connect you to the Police and Campus Safety dispatch and assistance will be sent to your location.