A.S. Update: Community policing, skateboarding and bicycling policies, safety escorts



The Associated Students University Council convenes for its bi-weekly meeting Sept. 27.

by Diana Guevarra, Staff Writer

The Associated Students University Council gathered for its bi-weekly meeting Oct. 18 to discuss university police, skateboard/bicycle policies and campus safety escorts.

Community policing programs

San Diego State Police Chief Josh Mays presented an open discussion to A.S. on topics regarding student safety and police involvement.

Mays said police are focused on creating effective relationships between law enforcement and students through community policing programs.

“The programs are about establishing relationships and being available any time there’s a concern or complaint,” Mays said. “There are 31 officers assigned on campus. Their main focus is (the) university.”

Mays said the the department gives officers the opportunity to work closely with students by assigning them a specified beat on campus. This will allow officers to create better responses by investing themselves in the community, he said.

University police programs mentioned by Mays include engagement, education training and assisting in new student orientations to help incoming students be positive members of the community.

Transportation policy

Mays said a recent educational campaign to remind students of the designated areas for skating and biking was spurred by a number of major collisions last year.

“Unfortunately because people don’t bike or skate in (designated) areas, last year there were 17 major accidents,” he said.

Mays told A.S. members that skating/biking policies were set by the University Senate — not SDSUPD. He also said police are focused on educating students on policy, rather than giving out citations immediately.

“What we don’t want to do is run around and give citations to every student.” Mays said. “What we try to do is try to have an education(al) campaign and try to teach people where they can bike and skate to prevent some of those significant injury related accidents.”

Safety escorts

College of Health and Human Services Representative Michael Glassman discussed his concerns on the limitations of safety escorts.

Glassman said students are confused about how the service works and what areas are covered. Safety escorts can only take students to and from on-campus locations.

Mays said university police are currently attempting to find ways to expand campus escorts. Currently, the escort service isn’t provided off-campus due to the limited workforce in the police department,” he said.

“There are currently 41 students who manage the escort program,” Mays said. “When a student calls, someone in uniform will escort the student by foot. It’s meant for safety, not expediency.”

Mays said there were 397 escort requests last month, and the majority of calls are on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Those days have increased wait times and limited officers, he said.

Police are considering adding full-time service members to the safety escort program in order to increase safety and assurance for students, Mays said.