The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

SBCC security denied funding for cameras, additional equipment

Nate Stephenson
The Administration at City College recently denied the Security Department’s request for adding upgraded security cameras on campus. Currently, a total of 22 cameras watch the college daily, some of which are outdated.

For the fourth consecutive year, City College’s Security department has been denied $32,000 to install additional cameras around campus

“Cameras are a means of protecting both the students and the campus,” said Director of security Erik Fricke.

All departments make requests annually in a resource request process beginning the fall of each year. Due to budget shortfalls and declining enrollment, only items necessary for teaching have been approved.

“For the last few years only items that are instructional equipment have been funded,” said Vice President of Business Services Lyndsay Maas. “The state provides the college with a block grant of funds specifically for instructional equipment.”

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Security employs six full-time officers and 22-24 student officers. During a typical day there will be 3-4 full-time officers on patrol, and up to five student officers who are responsible for writing citations, investigating complaints, monitoring call stations and patrolling all 72 acres of campus. 

However, keeping crime off campus requires a multifaceted approach Fricke said.

Cameras can aid security in identifying perpetrators breaking into cars, lockers, and classrooms as well as minor traffic incidents.

The cost to investigate crimes can run very high, leaving many campus crimes unresolved due to lack of funding and resources.

In 2019, it cost $5,000 for security to track down someone suspected of vandalizing campus bathrooms.

Fricke has come to expect these funding setbacks, saying it’s almost procedure for campus to deny these funds year after year. 

“It’s necessary to keep submitting these items to show the college there is an actual need,” Fricke said.

There were over $100,000 in additional items requested by security that were also denied. These items included a new cart and patrol vehicle, as well as several new doors and expensive electronic locks. 

The cost to repair the vehicles has surpassed the cost needed to maintain them on a yearly basis, Fricke said, making it a purely fiscal request. 

Increased repair time and cost associated with aging vehicles could hinder securities efforts to respond to incidents in a timely fashion.

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