By Hope Bowser
Western Sun staff writer
In reaction to the sexual assault reported last month, the safety and security of Golden West College students have been at the forefront of many minds. Demonstrations on how to handle an attack from “Just Yell Fire,” safety tips posted on boards around school, and increased security patrolling the parking lots are all tactics to educate and prevent similar incidents, as well as re-instill confidence in the school.
Now, nearly two months after the initial incident, what is the GWC Public Safety Department doing to be responsible and ensure your well-being?
The short answer? A lot.
Brent Theobold, current public safety supervisor, explains the current process of looking into opportunities to enhance GWC safety.
“We are looking into installing a few emergency phones at strategic areas like entrances to the school. These phones would have speakers to inform students if there was an emergency, as well as a direct line to GWC Public Safety.”
He also states that the Associated Student Government has allocated $35,000 to support a proposal to install video cameras and an emergency phone in the parking lots on campus.
An additional $15,000 from public safety’s own budget has been added to the plan which still falls short of the approximate $72,000 request that will then require further reviews.
“Our goal is achieving the greatest efficiency with the limited funds at this time,” Theobold explains. The public safety department is currently reprioritizing the plan in order to make a more sound proposal.
Theobold maintains that the cameras wouldn’t be used to cite students for smoking on campus or other infractions and the conditions would “strictly prohibit their use for anything other than a crime.”
Theobold explains, “It’s about looking at priorities. We have so much we want to get done, but it’s probably going to be a two to three year plan.”
While Theobold stresses that having this supplementary technology wouldn’t have prevented the rape, he acknowledges that statistically having more public safety resources such as emergency phones and surveillance cameras can deter crime.
In the meantime, an additional security officer shift from 2-10 p.m. has been added, which is convenient since there has been an increase in the number of requests for escorts.“We live in a very safe area; when something like this does happen it really impacts the community. We want to ensure that our campus remains safe and secure, and that includes public awareness.”