The University of Cal State Fullerton Police Department announced that they will no longer conduct security escorts in vehicles to comply with the 6-foot distance rule and will use alternative methods.
On Nov. 5, the department tweeted that a Student Community Service or official will be driving, walking, or driving nearby as students, faculties, or staff find their way to their destination.
University police captain Scot Willey said the rule had been in place since March, but the department decided to post the tweet after receiving multiple questions about the new restrictions.
“We’ve been doing this for months and it’s been pretty well understood, as I said, most people haven’t even questioned it,” said Willey. “But I think just on social media when we had a couple of questions we just thought it was a good time to point it out and bring it up for people to talk about.”
On campus security escorts are often conducted by the department’s community service officers, who are equipped and trained in the use of pepper spray when the opportunity arises. Due to budget cuts, the department had to cut the number of CSO officers from 50 to about 20, Willey said.
He said that due to the lack of people coming through campus every day, the number of escort requests has dropped from up to 40 per night before campus closes to just a few per week.
Willey said over the past few months that most of the crimes committed have come from off-campus individuals who fall under the jurisdiction of the department. Although officers were unable to keep students in their security vehicles, Willey said the department was ready to act.
“We still have staff that we just drive around campus and we’re here day and night, holidays, weekends and all that,” said Willey. “We have people here who are absolutely committed to the safety of students, faculties and staff in our community.”
Grace Hanson, a CSUF junior theater major, said she spent her first year in the dormitories on campus and had to travel across campus frequently at night as rehearsals and shows ended late, sometimes as late as 11 p.m.
She said she would use the security escort service prior to the pandemic because she felt unsafe late at night walking around campus.
“When I used it, they came within 10 minutes. I got into their security vehicle and then they safely got me where I needed to go, ”said Hanson.
After hearing about the department’s updated regulations, Hanson said the service will continue to be viable as long as they can safely transport students around campus.
“If they remain available to all students and still arrive as they should in due time, make sure the students can get to their final destination, then all of this is important because their presence is still there I think it will be a safe one Be surgery, ”said Hanson.
Danny Styrpejko, a sophomore graduate student at CSUF, said he was taking his personal courses on the main campus and getting off late once or twice a week. Although Styrpejko hasn’t used the escort service yet, he believes the new regulations will work.
“Since most of the problem is solo and traveling in groups is usually very helpful in deterring most of the problems,” said Styrpejko.
To request a security escort, call (657) 278-2515 or find a blue emergency phone and press the red button to contact University Police immediately. The department only accompanies students within the campus boundaries.