De Anza campus police hope to interact more with students – 12/1/2008

When Ron Levin was sworn as chief of the Foothill-De Anza Campus Police in August of 2004, one of his top priorities was to institute a community oriented policing program.

Five years later, there has been a significant reduction in the number of crimes committed on campus.

“I feel confident that the Foothill-De Anza District Police Department fully embraces the concepts of community oriented policing,” said Levine, “and we are dedicated to enhancing our ability to serve the community effectively.”

Community Oriented Policing is a program where officers have more personal interaction with people on campus at De Anza College. It serves as deterrence against crime while helping to establish trust between students, faculty and the officers.

The program has required both officers and Police Student Aides go through a “Train the Trainer” course for Community Policing, 40 hours of “Crisis Intervention Training,” along with a Peace Officers Standards and Training certified bicycle patrol training program taught by the San Jose Police Department.

One of the key elements is requiring the officers to have more contact with both students and faculty on campus. Officers have been encouraged to do more foot patrol and while driving their cars to have the windows down so they may make eye contact with people.

Another important aspect is having officers patrolling the campus on bikes. Three officers have been certified to patrol campus on specially equipped mountain bikes.

These bikes give the officers a better opportunity to patrol parking lots and the inner campus areas.

Yet with a decrease in crime, with it the police have been having more personal interaction with students.

Examples of the effectiveness of the community policing included when Bob Concilla, Director of Campus Security, assisted a student who was writing an English term paper on campus parking by taking the time to answer her questions.

“I’m really enjoying the opportunity of seeing Community Policing in full force,” said Concilla, “It makes working here all the better.”

Another officer, Frank Rocha, took the time to connect with a student who he had apprehended for speeding to become acquainted.

Other techniques that are being used include communicating with students through Facebook and Myspace and also having a strong working relationship with student media.

The Community Oriented Policing program has received strong support from the district, who are encouraging police to expand the program while continuing to build their trust among faculty and students.

Written For La Voz Weekly
12/1/2008
Original Article: De Anza campus police hope to interact more with students

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About Stan Rezaee
I'm a writer from San Jose who has contributed to several online and print publications.

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