Police department emphasizes safety on campus by using alert notification system

Since the test of the Los Rios Emergency Notification system on Jan. 24, students have received several real emergency notifications this semester.

Los Rios Alerts, which may also appear as notifications from RAVE Alerts, is a form of direct communication between the Los Rios Police Department and the students and faculty on campus.

“The emergency alert system is a system designed to send out immediate alerts to the community in case there’s a significant emergency,” said Los Rios Police Chief Larry Savidge. “We have the ability to send out that alert through different means.”

Savidge said these alerts are sent through voicemail, text and email as well as through posts on social media.

Bobbie Bray, a 25-year-old business major Bobbie Bray said he thinks about whether a situation mentioned in an alert is really an “emergency.”

“I do wonder how much of an emergency it really is,” Bray said.

Savidge said the alerts are primarily sent out by the police department. Depending on the emergency, he said they “weigh out” the situation to determine whether they want to alert the campus.

The severity of the emergency drives if the messages gets sent out.”

— Larry Savidge

“The severity of the emergency drives if the messages gets sent out,” Savidge said.

Jay Lampano, the interim police captain on campus, said they are very careful about the words they use in alerts, avoiding “fluffy words” that might make students feel good or scared.

“If we send an alert, it’s accurate information that we’re sending you,” Lampano said.

Aerrick Hunter, a 20-year-old anthropology major said it could be a faster process, however.

“The alerts come delayed,” said 19-year-old fine arts major Geselle City.

Lampano said they don’t want to “jump the gun” when it comes to sending out alerts.

“We want to provide you accurate information and, at times, there will be a time delay in putting those things out,” Lampano said.

Lampano said they need to know whether a crime that took place is violent or involves weapons or sexual crimes before they put it into the alert system.

Bray said it would be a problem if they didn’t follow-up with several other notifications.

City, however, doesn’t like the follow-up notifications.

“I kind of don’t like that I’m bombarded with alerts by text, email and voicemail,” City said.

Esmeralda Guzman, a 20-year-old business major, said the constant stream of notifications is a good thing even if some may find it “annoying.”

Lampano said he emphasizes the idea of “saying something” if a person sees something they think is worth investigating.

“Report it immediately, even if it doesn’t mean anything,” Lampano said. “Give us the opportunity to check and verify so that we can provide more accurate information to our students and staff that are on campus.”