Crime report shows numbers are down

Denny Cristales

The Annual Security Report released for the 2013 Cerritos College school year shows all crime numbers are down; with property crimes being among the highest reported crimes on campus.

The report was released toward the end of September and shows the number of crimes, such as thievery or sexual assaults, that have occurred between 2011 to 2013.

A majority of the statistics show that crime rates have gone down in the past two years.

Interim Police Chief Tom Gallivan is proud of the numbers.

“We’re always aiming for zero. Reality is, we’re not going to get there. What I’m proud to say is that this is one of the safest campuses around.”

According to Gallivan, the Jeanne Clery Act mandates that all colleges throughout the nation come out with their crime statistics.

Notably, among all on-campus criminal offenses for stolen property, motor vehicles, which has been the biggest problem in terms of thefts, has gone down from 2012, from 21 to 15.

Additionally, there has been only one forcible sexual offense on campus for the past two years, with the last one happening in 2011.

“The violent crimes on this campus are practically non-existent,” Gallivan said. “Occasionally, we’ll get a minor assault, but it’s not categorized as an aggravated assault.

“We’re always striving for more, we always want our crime stats lower than they are. But as far as safety goes, we balance it out. We’re always looking to improve.”

The statistics translate from the high police presence on campus, he said.

“A lot of it is high visibility; community policing – the basic elements of community policing is having the police where the students are, having a high visibility around the campus.

“I’m hoping that provides the students with a sense of safety, knowing that we’re close by.”

And, for the most part, the students generally do feel that security.

Ana Balbuena, a broadcasting major, feels that police presence that Gallivan mentioned.

She said, “If something happens, then you know where they (the police officers) are at, and you can get help from them.”

Adrian Orozco, a computer science major, said he never has personally encountered a real problem on campus.

He added, “I’ve never been mugged. It’s not really something I’ve thought about.”

Gallivan said that, in any major incident, an officer’s average response time is less than a minute and a half – “Which is amazing.”

Along with the officer presence, the cadets serve as the “eyes and ears of campus police.”

Gallivan reiterated the principles of high visibility and communication.

He said, “The cadets, a uniform presence, they’re not sworn officers, but they all carry radios. So, when they’re walking the campus, whether it’s to open a door for an instructor or secure a door for an instructor or to pick up property or drop off mail, they’re a presence.”

The Annual Security Report can be read in its entirety here:

http://cms.cerritos.edu/uploads/Police/2014_ANNUAL_SECURITY_REPORT.pdf