When people think of campus safety at APU they think of the blue shirt students who either give out a big number of parking tickets or wave at you as you drive into East Campus. What people may not realize is that the department of campus safety jumps through hoops to ensure the safety and security of each person at APU.
Their department of officers is riddled with experience and safety gurus that are a force to be reckoned with in the chance that any mischief happens. Most officers have worked within law enforcement before or have military background however one thing remains constant throughout the entire hierarchy: all they care about is the safety and security of the APU campus and everyone on it.
“Campus safety is so underappreciated,” said sophomore art major, Daniel Koss. “Masked by their happy parking ticket fingers. They should be highly recognized for their brave dedication and service in keeping the campus safe.”
The face of the department are the community service representatives who are the student employees. The 85 students function as the eyes and ears of the both campuses. They assist with traffic control, event set up and tear down, and they are actively involved with the shuttle. From 10:45 p.m.to 2 a.m. the representatives are in charge of the shuttle and manage the operations. A safety escort is also available around the clock whenever their services are needed which is run by the gray shirt officers.
“The CSR’s do not enforce policy, they are utilized as our eyes and ears around campus,” said Lieutenant Jeff Joseph. “Their job is to observe and report from a safe distance.”
The CSRs are trained in the department’s history, university history and policy. They are meant to be information resources as well as patrol the campus.
Azusa Pacific is private property and being such campus safety only has jurisdiction on APU property. While their dispatch office is readily available 24/7 to receive a call for assistance their authority is relinquished to Azusa PD once they leave campus.
“Our area of responsibility is campus property. We do not enforce laws on public property,” said Joseph. “If we get a call from an off campus location such as Santana’s, we will send out an officer to monitor the situation.”
The Azusa Police Department works very close with the campus safety at APU as well. Azusa Pacific campus is a beep on the police departments’ radar so they patrol around both campuses just like any other are in Azusa.
“Their job [Azusa PD] is to protect APU faculty, staff, and students,” explained Joseph. “We contract to have a police officer from the police department for 40 hours a week on campus.”
The police officer on campus acts as a liaison between the police department and APU. He is also allowed to assume his police duties and roles so he is granted the authority to arrest people if the situation calls for it.
The department of campus safety dedicates themselves to the protection and the livelihood of all students. They offer a number of different safety and awareness programs in order to ensure the safety of the students. The program that is being marketed right now is the Rape Aggression Defense program for the women.
The RAD program teaches the women who get attacked how to defend themselves and get away safely. The two day, 12 hour, course teaches situational awareness as well as post-incident protocol and care, said Joseph. This is a course that gets offered several times per year and it is completely free.
There are a number of ways campus safety communicates during an emergency situation. They utilize social media, the Whelan System, which is the speaker system in the student dorms, and Everbridge mass notification system, which are mass media alert system that gives notifications through text messages, e-mail, or voicemails. All faculty, staff, and students at APU receive these alerts as well as updates when there is a major incident on or around either one of the two campuses.
Another one of the departments many resources online is the silent informant form. This form can be found on the Campus Safety webpage on the apu.edu website. It offers students a chance to file a report anonymously about any suspicious activity that they wish to be investigated. The department of campus safety encourages anyone to report their suspicions.
Campus safety prides themselves for their outstanding track record and makes it a priority to ensure the welfare of the entire APU community.