Campus Has High Rate of Minor Crimes

El Vaquero Staff Writer

While thefts on campus are in the hundreds and the number of burglaries have doubled over the last six years, Glendale Community College students have only a limited knowledge of the various police and safety services available to them on campus.

The most common on-campus crimes identified by Police Specialist Nidal Kobaissi were theft of unattended items, which he called an “opportunity crime,” and burglary. According to Kobaissi, the number of thefts has doubled over the last six years and is “in the hundreds” today. Exact numbers were not available, since theft is not considered a reportable statistic under the Campus Safety Disclosure Act. The numbers of burglaries on campus were seven in 2002, nine in 2003, and eight in 2004, and were a result of a twofold increase in burglaries from 1999, 2000 and 2001.

So how safe should one feel on the GCC campus? When asked how safe they felt, students Cindy Merida, Amber Lewis, Noureh Ghazarian and Jilbert Makarade, said they felt rather safe on campus. None of them has ever witnessed an on-campus crime or been a victim of one. However, Ghazarian reported that she knew of somebody who was harassed on campus, while Makarade reported having heard of “racial fights.”

Only one of the four interviewed students was aware of the various services offered by the GCC Police Department in an attempt to make the students and the faculty members feel safe on campus.
These are the police and safety services available on the GCC campus:
4000 is a an emergency telephone extension if dialed from any campus telephone during school hours.

There are eight emergency call boxes (ECBs) whose locations are marked on the campus maps; ECBs are connected to the Police Department Communications Center and allow students to speak with a Police Dispatcher who automatically sends an officer to the ECB which was activated.

An escort service is available to all students who would like to be walked to their cars by a police officer or a police cadet; this service is available both on main campus and on off-campus sites.
Safety workshops are offered by the Police Department.

Although Merida, Lewis, Ghazarian and Makarade have no worries regarding their safety on the GCC campus, the Police Department continues to devise new strategies intended to protect students, faculty members and campus staff.

“The Chief of Police has provided the Board of Trustees with a strategic plan to complete the police department by hiring sufficient staff that will offer coverage 24/7, 365 days a year, like most other colleges,” Kobaissi assured.