University Police Services Southern Command has changed how police officers are trained to offer the highest level of care to ensure the safest campus possible. To the Director of University Police Services Southern Command Adam Garcia, keeping everyone safe is of highest concern.
“We’ve known implementation of long term solutions is necessary in a lot of areas,” Garcia said. “We’ve talked within our department about accountability, transparency, awareness and communication as something that has been missing from law enforcement for a long time. I want to make sure that we utilize these practices in every opportunity, for every training, for all our public encounters.”
Aside from updating their training, UPD also offers a campus safety app, RebelSAFE where students have access to a variety of resources. These include chatting with dispatch, reporting a tip, Friend Walk, RebelRide, Emergency Phones and Resources, Maintenance Request and more.
When talking to students around campus, like CSUN Senator Zachary Billot, it is clear that even with a variety of resources available, there is still a wide gap of communication between students and campus police.
“I have personally met some UPD officers who are quite terrific at being sensitive and compassionate for their job,” Billot said. “Police officers individually are not the problem, but rather the system that often enforces law disproportionately.”
“I have heard of dispatch to the police call boxes being either nonexistent or slow, and that is also of concern to students who use the call boxes for safety,” Billot said. “As a general principle, I would say the UPD does a satisfactory job, but there is always room for improvement, especially as one of the most diverse institutions in the nation, for the fairness of their enforcement.”
The experiences of some students around campus seem to be different from that of what Garcia himself estimated. When asked how long it would take for dispatch to get to a location, his estimate was “under 2 minutes.” Crime on campus is less likely to take place in comparison to the rest of Las Vegas.
In a campus-wide message sent, García further expressed his department’s dedication for safety.
“As partners, University Police Services stands ready to serve the needs of our campus communities during these unique times and we will continue to work toward awareness and active engagement, ensuring a transparent and accountable delivery of law enforcement services,” Garcia said.