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The Connection

The award-winning news site of Cosumnes River College

The Connection

Campus increases security patrols to address safety concerns

Irvis Orozco
Members in Black can be identified by their bright green vest with the MIB logo throughout campus. They were hired by campus to be additional security as the campus deals with an increase of rowdy local high school students and homeless individuals causing disturbances.

In response to an ongoing concern about disruptions by local high school students and homeless individuals, campus officials have implemented additional patrolling and security measures.

Los Rios Police Capt. Christopher Mora said local high school students have been causing disturbances at Cosumnes River College, notably in the parking structure, library and around the visual arts center.

“They were in the bathrooms kicking cans, spray painting and simply cussing around campus, smoking weed in the parking structure,” Capt. Mora said. “The problem is we just can’t be everywhere.”

The LRPD plans to further bolster security by deploying additional officers, including campus patrol, especially when high school classes end. Campus patrol officers such as Nasir Rashha, who is an unsworn officer and has worked with LRCD since 2018, will be observing campus for disturbances.

“Most of all, I want to be seen by the young people and students at the school and make them feel as if they are safe and can count on us for any issues,” Rashha said.

Rashha and other campus patrol officers will be in marked patrol vehicles stationed in between the library and the arts area.

The campus is working with a third-party security company, Members in Black (MIB), who are easily identifiable in bright-colored yellow vests marked with “MIB” on the back. Their primary responsibility is to maintain vigilance in the specified areas, promptly reporting any safety concerns.

Christopher Raines, dean of Facilities and Operations, said the campus patrol does not have arresting powers and are under a “no guns, no tasers or pepper spray” agreement. The campus patrol, along with the MIB, are there to observe and report to the LRPD, who are the only law enforcement members who have the power to arrest, Raines said.

“There are places in the library building that are not out in the open and people have found those places and tend to get into trouble if they don’t believe anybody is watching them,” Public Information Officer Kristie West said.

Campus officials said they have been working with Elk Grove Unified School District and principals from Valley High School on how to best handle the disruptive high schoolers.

“They help us identify some of the high school students,” Capt. Mora said. “We get pictures and we’ll take them over there.”

Capt. Mora said he is optimistic the increased security presence will deter vandalism and disturbances.

The campus also had several incidents in which unhoused individuals have caused disturbances, including sleeping on campus, breaking into buildings and not adhering to campus staff requests to vacate or move, making classrooms and hallways inaccessible.

Capt. Mora said a homeless individual was found camping on the baseball field at night about a month ago.

“We were patrolling and we actually caught him sleeping in the dugout twice and wrote citations to not trespass,” Capt. Mora said.

“We had an individual, kicked in a door vent out at the athletic facility to get inside the snack bar area to stay warm and dry,” Raines said “He attempted to have a fire in one of the tins that’s used to put ice in.”

Special attention will be given to key areas, including the softball and baseball fields, the Parking Structure and Parking Lot F. MIB will actively patrol these zones from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, over the next few weeks, Capt. Mora said.

Julia Mora, a 27-year-old RTVF major with no relation to Capt. Mora, said she has, fortunately, not had any bad interactions on campus.

“I do get spooked at night, you know, just walking in the parking lot since it’s such a big campus,” Julia Mora said. “I wish there was more patrolling being seen or a police officer or somebody like that in the parking lot when it gets darker. Like, the later hours.”

Julia Mora said she carries pepper spray in case of an emergency.

The campus’ additional security measures include cameras and 21 emergency blue lights directly connected to the campus police dispatch, which Capt. Mora said are checked weekly.

Raines said statistically, crimes tend not to occur on campus, making it safer than surrounding areas. The campus has 24-hour security, but no sworn officers after 11 p.m.

“It’s so good here that when something does go awry, everyone notices,” Raines said. “We try to make it to where we don’t want to be rude. We don’t want to be insensitive, but this is not the place for you to come set up a camp. We’re trying to teach young people here in a safe place.”

Students and staff are encouraged to contact Capt. Mora or Raines via email or phone for further concerns or questions.

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About the Contributor
Irvis Orozco
Irvis Orozco, Staff Writer
Irvis Orozco is a Staff Writer for The Connection.

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