Precautions are key, public safety advises
California Baptist University is open to the community for a multitude of activities, which leaves the school available for more than just friendly guests.
For that reason, public safety buffed up security on campus.
“We have redeployed some folks and had some people work overtime, especially in the evening hours,” Jim Walters, director of public safety, said.
It is hard to keep track of the visitors that come in and out of the university, since it is an open campus.
“We come into contact with a number of people who may or may not have business on campus. Some of those people have no discernible business on campus and we help them find their way to the gate,” Walters said. “We don’t track the number of people directed away from campus versus the number of people we come into contact and determine that there is adequate business for them on campus.”
There are several gates that are left open for the community to enter into the campus. These various entrances are unmanned during the normal business days, since there is a population that the university is willing to allow on campus.
“As day turns into evening, those gates close on a determined schedule as the evening goes on the campus becomes more fenced and gated. At about 9-9:30 p.m. the front entrance is the only way into the campus and that is staffed 24 hours a day so that we can see who comes in and out,” Walters said.
Last week’s incident of an intruder who allegedly attempted to assault a Village resident apparently contributed to a larger scale upgrade in public safety.
The university previously embarked on a lighting upgrade in all the housing areas starting at the beginning of this year.
“All through the Rose Garden area, there is new lighting. In University Place there is new lighting,” Walters said. “All the housing areas have gotten some pretty significant lighting upgrades. Kind of in a intentional staged process that began at the start of the school year and is continuing.”
There has also been a new addition to many living and parking areas around campus. Students can see the new blue emergency call boxes placed in various parts of the campus.
“We finished instillation of those I believe over the summer, we began with one of those at the beginning of last year and we have 10 now and we have a couple more pending for the parking structure being built at the Adams plaza,” Walters said.
“They have become sort of a standard installation in all new parking facilities. We look at if they don’t have one near by, we make preparations to install one.”
Walters explained that public safety and the University are not the only components to the safety of student population, it is also the student’s responsibility to be careful.
“The students, the staff, the faculty, what they do to help maintain a safe environment. Knowing their own personal surroundings. Letting us know when they see something out of the ordinary, securing their bicycles, making sure their doors are locked,” he said.