University police pointers for new students

With the madness of move-in day, University Police came out with a mobile command center and “coffee with a cop” tables to help new students adjust to the area. Lt. Richard Goodwin and Sgt. Keith Caires were out with a number of officers from the department, even a new bomb-sniffing dog, who greeted the families and freshmen moving into Beachside dorms. Sgt. Caires was kind enough to do a quick question and answer for us in anticipation of the new semester.

What are some of the most common crimes on campus?

Sgt. Caires – Bike thefts and crimes of opportunity are the biggest ones we see. People picking up a laptop or phone that gets left lying around. Just because that person has been sitting across from you in the library for a few hours doesn’t mean you can trust [them].

What is UPD doing to mitigate these crimes?

Sgt. Caires – When we started crime prevention efforts on the bike theft problems, we saw a real decrease, not only in number of occurrences but in value as well. It’s not because one or two cops are out there working, the community is taking care of itself. Students can also register their bikes with the University Police, and a new grant gave us the money to offer the first 100 students registering the option to get a $5 U-lock at the bookstore.

How would you describe your relationship with LBPD?

Sgt. Caires – We talk with each other and back each other up on a regular basis. I, it’s a mutual-aid agreement. They’re the first responders for the off-campus frat houses, and we’re primary for Beachside [dorms]. But at the end of the day [University Police] are state officers with the same authority.

What are most “stops” like on campus?

Sgt. Caires – We do a lot of bike and skateboarding enforcement around campus in our pedestrian areas because of the density. It’s like Disneyland’s Main Street. Then, of course, we park thousands of cars here every day, so we do a lot of vehicle enforcement and driving stops. The driving population is typically younger and a higher risk.

With everything going on in Charlottesville and around the country, what would you say to the parents of African-American or Jewish students coming to CSULB for the first time?

Sgt. Caires – I’d say they picked the right place. There are so many groups on campus you can always find someone to bond with. Sometimes there’s a blip on the radar, but this is a diverse college. We just aren’t a campus with those kind of problems. As long as everybody brings tolerance to the table, we can always work together.

10 safety tips

1 – University Police (562) 985-4101 or 911- Store our number in your cell phone.

2 – Report all crimes, suspicious persons or activities to us as soon as possible. Stay alert, be aware of your surroundings and follow your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right or look right, report it.

3 – Verify your information is correct for our “Beach Alert” emergency messaging system at your MyCSULB account.

4 – Use Campus Shuttles or Community Security Officer Escorts after dark. When walking on campus, take the safest route, not the fastest route. Use sidewalks and crosswalks.

5 – Do not leave your belongings unattended, even for a few minutes.

6 – Protect your personal information, share only what is required for official university business. This includes your cell phone number!

7 – Register your bicycle with us at the USU Police Substation & properly use a U-Lock! Cable and chain locks can be defeated. Be sure to lock your bike properly, using only bicycle racks, not poles, trees or railings.

8 – Learn where the emergency phones & blue light poles are located on common routes you walk and inside the buildings where you attend classes.

9 – Be wary of scams; if the deal sounds too good to be true – it probably is! Reconsider the need for that magazine subscription, gym membership or credit card.

10 – Create a buddy network. Share your schedule and evening plans with friends and family. Tell them where you are going, who you will be with and when you expect to return.

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