At first glance, one might mistake them for campus police officers, but the Sacramento State students who don law-enforcement uniforms are community service officers who perform a wide variety of duties supporting the mission of the University’s Police Department.
The CSO program began 10 years ago with four officers working weekends overnight in the residence area, patrolling the parking lots. It has grown to 50 CSOs patrolling on foot and bicycle throughout the campus as well as all buildings from 8 a.m. to midnight Monday through Friday. They patrol the Academic Information Resource Center building 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
These students, who are unfailingly polite and helpful, add an important dimension to campus security. They speak with incoming freshmen about taking precautions to enhance their safety. They also conduct residence hall security checks and patrol the campus for security violations and potential hazards.
Regardless of the specific assignment, CSOs are always present as resources for the community and act as “eyes and ears” for the Sacramento State Police Department.
Most CSOs are interested in a career in law enforcement. They work about 16 hours a week performing various functions for the department – providing security, escort and special event coverage in addition to an extra uniformed presence around campus.
“The CSO program has not only been significant from a crime-prevention standpoint, it has also played a key role in the resolution of many crimes on our campus,” says Mark M. Iwasa, Sacramento State’s chief of police. “They also provide a variety of services for the campus community, including vehicle lockout response, bicycle registrations, vehicle jump starts and night security escorts. All of this goes on while developing the student as a responsible, involved individual.”
For more information about the program, visit: http://bit.ly/11p30Fd.
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– Alan Miller