Campus, News

Campus police continue efforts for a transparent campus

Since becoming Long Beach State police chief earlier this year, John Brockie has been making an effort to increase the transparency of the University Police Department by making it more approachable and student-friendly.

Brockie started by making more casual uniforms and removing the reflective window tint from the outside of the department. He also created the new program, “Chat with the Chief,” where students can call and ask Brockie anything on Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Although “Chat with the Chief” has not received many calls since its inception, Brockie and his staff are still committed to establishing a direct line of contact between them and the student body. They are also exploring other avenues, such as texting or Zoom, to find the best way to reach students.

Officer Michael Liu has been with the department for three years and has seen the changes made to reconnect with the community. He explained department functions with duties such as operating as a call center, dispatching required services within a one-mile radius, or coordinating with other departments.

Liu discussed the new programs that look into handling scenarios without law enforcement. These programs focus on mental health and integrating students into the department to handle non-life-threatening dispatches.

One of the new programs is the Campus Assessment and Stabilization Team (C.A.S.T), whose goal is to handle mental health-induced scenarios without using full-time officers. Giving support for people with substance abuse, support for the LGBTQ+ community, and support for personal problems by mental health professionals in collaboration with law enforcement are some examples of C.A.S.T’s duties.

Some of these new programs involve students assisting officers in campus duties. In doing so, the police hope to continue to be more transparent and integrated within the community. The Community Service Officers are students employed by the department handling non-life threatening situations and doing essential services on campus.

Liu discussed the process of law enforcement while patrolling, clarifying that in any situation, the objective is to handle it as peacefully as possible while being prepared to use force if necessary.

Liu said procedures within the department and while on patrol have been changing to keep up with the modern social climate. All officers are tested and trained regularly in procedures keeping up with the Continued Professional Training requirements that have constantly changed due to the outrage from various police brutality incidents.

Liu explained the police were interested in checking out one of which was stolen Hyundais and Kias due to videos on TikTok making a trend of the theft.

Brockie’s efforts also make a more transparent police force within the department.

“I was with the department before he became chief,” said Valerie Jimenez, a dispatcher for UPD. “The unity of people here, everyone has become more of a family [since he became chief].”

Any student can request to go on the ride-along, so anyone has the capability and potential to see a CSULB police officer’s patrol routine.

“Everyone has good intent and intentions,” said Jimenez.

Anyone can request a ride-along by calling the non-emergency line at (562) 985-4101. Brockie can be reached during his “Chat with the Chief” every Thursday from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. at (562) 985-8536.

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