Safety alerts come too late

Carlos Marquez

A female student became the victim of a man who exposed himself in the library, Jan. 21 at 2:35 p.m.

This caused concern to students who frequently visit or work at the library.

Campuses across the country have applied alert notifications to inform students about any reported crime or safety evacuations to keep them updated.

Cerritos College relies on an emergency mobile alert system through Nixle. Students can sign up for this on the college’s website and get safety information from the campus and other public safety agencies in their area.

Students heard about the incident from classmates and other second-hand sources. Some of the students were not informed until a week later.

Students like Esthetician major Midnight ByrneDavis and library staff member, was informed of the incident through co-workers the next day, felt concerned about this controversy.

“Students should not be scared to come to school, it is not fair,” ByrneDavis said.

Even for students that signed up for the alerts, such as Paralegal studies major Hennessi Chairez, was informed late that night, felt shocked of how such a crime could take place inside the building.

“I wouldn’t expect anything like that at Cerritos College,” she said.

Students are not the only ones who feel affected by this situation. Bruce Russell, professor and librarian of Cerritos College, who is concerned about the safety of the students, said, “It is depressing how this incident creates a negative atmosphere on the campus.”

According to Campus Police Chief, Tom Gallivan, the process for a notification alert starts with an officer doing an interview with the victim and the witnesses.

The officer must check the area of the incident along with the victim and once he gathers all the information, according to his diligence, an alert is posted through Nixle, the college’s website and around the school.

“Obviously, if it was a situation where there are lives at stake, like we’ve got a report of a person seen with a weapon on campus. If there were an immediate need for the information to get out, it would go out within minutes.” Gallivan said.