Should We Feel Safe on Campus?

On Dec. 14, 2012, 20-year-old Adam Lanza walked into Sandy Hook Elementary in Newton, Conn. and killed 20 first graders as well as six faculty members. In January, a 16-year-boy shot and wounded two fellow students at Taft High School in Woodland Hills.

These tragic and violent incidents are sobering reminders of how fragile life can be. It’s not a stretch to assume that many of us here at GCC have imagined ourselves caught in a similar situation on campus.

However, students should ease their worries as the Administration and the GCC Police Department have implemented various ways to limit any such tragedies or emergencies by being prepared.

The campus has an emergency response team made up of full-time executives and staff members that train together with the campus police.

On Jan. 9, the campus police, along with the Glendale police and fire department, underwent active shooter training exercises to prepare for a scenario in which a shooter on campus who has shot multiple students had taken a professor hostage. More training exercises and practice drills will continue to be performed regularly..

Campus police consists of six sworn officers, two sergeants, and additional cadets as well as extra Glendale Police Department officers that patrol campus. The impact of this patrols can be seen in the numbers.

According to GCC’s Campus Crime Statistics Act Report, there have only been four reported cases of violent crimes during 2009 through 2011. Compared to LACC and PCC, our campus had half the amount of serious crimes. During this three-year stretch, PCC had nine illegal weapons possession related arrests while GCC had only two.

In addition to copious amounts of training and an effective patrol presence, there are 26 emergency phones spread throughout the main campus with some on the Garfield campus as well as the parking lots. If an emergency happens, one of these phones is easily accessible and officers would be dispatched to the location of the incident immediately.

For some students, walking to the parking lot alone at night can be a stressful experience. Fortunately for those students, a campus officer can escort them to their car if contacted by calling 818-409-5925 or 818-240-1000 ext. 5925. For an emergency, call 818- 409-5911 or use ext. 4000.

In case an emergency does occur on campus, the AlertU notification service sends out alerts to anyone that uses the service. With this service, faculty, students, and staff will be on the same page about what is going on in campus. To sign up for this service, text GCC to 253788 and reply with “Y.”

With the troubling amount of gun violence in schools in the past decade, the thought of something like that happening on GCC isn’t out of the realm of impossibility.

However, with the amount of training and preparation that the campus police have done, it is safe to say that they are ready to handle any emergency that comes their way.