Police office on campus to foster better relations with students

Beginning+this+semester%2C+police+officers+have+an+office+at+City+College+to+assist+both+campus+security+and+students%2C+Thursday%2C+Nov.+5%2C+2015%2C+on+East+Campus.+They+have+been+allocated+two+parking+spaces%2C+and+are+on+campus+9+a.m.+to+11+a.m.+Tuesdays+and+Thursdays+in+the+MacDougall+Administration+Building+Room+125.

Sammy Keyes-Levine

Beginning this semester, police officers have an office at City College to assist both campus security and students, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2015, on East Campus. They have been allocated two parking spaces, and are on campus 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays in the MacDougall Administration Building Room 125.

SAMMY KEYES-LEVINE, Channels Staff

City College has created a police office on campus in an attempt to form stronger ties with the Santa Barbara Police Department and establish a more consistent police presence.

This is part of a plan that includes giving seven security officers the power to cite students, which is still in the works.

“The whole idea behind a community police office is to give people the opportunity to come ask questions regarding the police department,” said Bryan Kerr, an officer at the police department. “The secondary goal is to have a police presence on campus.”

Police Officer Brian Kerr is currently assigned to be the police presence on-campus two mornings a week at City College. Image courtesy of Sergeant Riley Harwood, public information officer for the Santa Barbara Police Department.
Police Officer Brian Kerr is currently assigned to be the police presence on campus two mornings a week at City College. Image courtesy of Sergeant Riley Harwood, public information officer for the Santa Barbara Police Department.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. an officer will be posted in the MacDougall Administration Building Room 125. At this time Officer Bryan Kerr will be overseeing the office.

The Community Policing Office at City College is one of the multiple established offices around Santa Barbara.

“It’s part of our working to respond to the needs of the campus and the needs of the students and staff, and to increase the police presence,” said Joe Sullivan, vice president of business services. “They are available and they are responsive, and it’s nice to have them on campus.”

Officers will have access to the office at all hours of the day and have two allocated parking spots. The purpose of the office is to give officers a place to go while out in the field, day or night, to write reports or get work done.

“I can definitely see how there could be controversy about that, especially with how the authorities handle situations such as with Isla Vista during Halloween,” said Isabelle Doerschlag, public relations officer for the Associated Student Government.

The office will work alongside campus security to better the campus.

“I am not replacing campus security in any way,” Kerr said. “I am a resource if they need me, and for the students.”

Kerr anticipated that not all the student perception would be positive regarding the office, and emphasized that they were not there to be a police department.

“I think that it reflects everything else that’s going on in the world and it’s kind of scary,” said City College student Jonas Grove. “With all the school shootings, though, it could be a better thing to have on campus.”

If something like a shooting was to happen on campus, having the police available and ready would be very useful, Sullivan said.

One of the goals of the office is to give students the ability to better understand the workings of the police department.

“I think it’s kind of strange, but I think it would be a cool resource for people pursuing the major to talk to people in the industry,” Grove said.

Kerr urges students to come to the office if they have any questions about protocol or policing policies, or for any other questions they might have.

“We are here to be a resource,” he said. “If the students need to write papers or ask questions, I’m here for that. I am just here to help.”

The city is separated into beats by the police department, and the officer who operates the community policing office changes based on who the beat coordinator for that area is. The position holder is changed every four years.

Kerr will be the officer present at the Tuesday and Thursday office hours for the foreseeable future and can be reached at [email protected].