When asked to imagine a campus police officer, it’s easy to picture an uptight officer, only concerned with writing parking tickets and kicking kids off of their skateboards, but that perception might not be so accurate.
The 38 police officers of the San Diego Community College District are divided among three campuses and are responsible with the protection of the students, staff and property of the district.
Police Sgt. Jordan Mirakian, a 15-year veteran of law enforcement, explains that because of the open design, there are many non-students on campus and they may not have the best intentions.
“Understand that there are people on campus that probably aren’t students and are here to commit crimes,” said Mirakian. He explained that theft is the most common crime on campus.
“The community college campus, or any campus for that matter, is a target-rich environment,” said Mirakian.
The campus police officers use techniques such as bait-bike operations, plain clothes details and selective enforcement operations to prevent crime.
While the police go to great lengths to ensure the safety of everyone on campus, Mirakian notes that there are precautions students can take to protect themselves and their property.
“Be vigilant and be aware of your surroundings. A lot of times I walk through the campus and I see student staring at their phone, and they’re not really looking around” said Mirakian.
“I just encourage people to get to know our officers, report things to them if they see suspicious activity because we are relying on our student to be our eyes and ears,” added Mirakian.
Raymund Aguirre is scheduled to start March 3 as the district’s police department’s new chief. He previously served as chief of police for the San Jose-Evergreen Community College District since 2006.