Out with the old, in with the new

“Fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me, ” is the old saying that should encourage Cerritos College officials to make changes to the current safety procedures in place on campus, since burglars broke into classrooms and stole computers for the second time in less than a month.

It is easy to question the preparedness or effectiveness of the procedures set in place by Cerritos College officials when the issue of student safety and crime prevention comes to mind.

A recent campus earthquake drill has proved how one of the current safety procedures can be ineffective.

For instance, the district along with campus police conduct several safety drills each year which evaluate and assess the effectiveness, but if a student is not scheduled for a class during that time frame or chooses to miss class, then the opportunity to teach earthquake safety to that student is lost.

Another flawed safety procedure is the warning system between the college and the campus community.

It calls for warnings to be issued through the college’s e-mail system, campus’ student newspaper and flyers posted on building entrances, but does nothing for the person en route to campus who could possibly be entering a dangerous environment.

If campus officials wanted to warn students immediately of a threat, the most adequate way would be through AlertU which would deliver a warning straight to their cell phones via text message.

However, Cerritos College does not automatically subscribe its students nor require them to subscribe on their own, meaning only some students will receive warnings of threats in time to avoid them.

One of the biggest crime threats recorded in an annual security report prepared by campus police are motor vehicle theft and burglary, with a combined average of 29 incidents per year over the last three years despite routine vehicle and bike patrols by campus police officers and cadets.

The Cerritos College annual security report is a safety resource made available to the public and includes statistics of all reported crimes, which means it can only be accurate if crime and safety threats are actually reported to campus police by the campus community.

This is just one way that members of the student body can ensure their own safety.

Until every student feels completely safe, it is up to each individual student to seek out and demand that the best safety and crime prevention procedures are offered and implemented at Cerritos College.

Reporting crimes to campus police will help other students know about them.

Talk to members of the student government who work in conjunction with campus police to improve campus safety.

Familiarize yourself with current safety measures and share ideas on how to improve them with campus police.

Speak up about existing safety concerns on campus with campus police.

You can contact the Cerritos College Campus Police Department at (562) 860-2451 Ext. 3076 or via email at [email protected]

It does not make sense for officials to only improve safety measures after certain issues arise because crimes and threats are not always scheduled and often, it is the most devastating ones that catch people by surprise.