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SJCC addresses safety

Larry Harris

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Campus college safety measures are in the works.

More than 100 security cameras may be set up throughout the entire San Jose City College campus, according to the new safety measures that were presented by the Vice President of administrative services at the College Planning Council meeting on Friday, March 1.

Nelson said the cameras are of such high quality and resolution they can zoom in on any object from a great distance in either day or night without pixelation. The camera configuration will be a mix of fixed static, pan hilt high definition of long zoom cameras, wide angle zoom and wireless cameras.

“The camera upgrades have been in the works for some time. The December 18 lockdown of the Technology Center raised the importance of this issue to the forefront of our safety measures scheduled for the college,” Nelson said.

“There is no code that says we have to monitor all of the cameras. The idea is that if there is a crime the police can go back and have evidence of what’s going on, license plate number or physical description if a bicycle is stolen. Police will have ability to view 15 – 16 screens at a time of the hot spots, places that have routine issues,” Nelson said.

While detailed camera coverage may not stop crimes, it is hoped that awareness of being watched may act as a preemptive measure to prevent crime.

New phone technology is scheduled for the campus

Nelson also indicated the existing 15 emergency phones are scheduled to be repainted to a police blue  and will eventually be replaced by a system of standalone Mass Notification Alarms and speakers. This notification system is a combination phone with broadcast speakers mounted on the top. The new emergency broadcast system will immediately alert the campus community of emergencies and provide safety instruction.

These wide-range speakers are of Bose(TM) quality and can be clearly heard from a great distance.

Nelson described a test of the speakers’ range and said, “They (the speaker company) put the speaker in the middle of the GE parking lot, and we stood over by the loading dock of the theater. It about blew us away. The speaker system was very loud, clear and distinct. It has a siren that goes off in the front end of it so it gets your attention and then you hear the message.”

Nelson also said the current phone notification system meets current mandate with the speakers in the phones of each classroom.  Sometimes faculty turn these phones down due to classroom interruption, so an emergency notification may not be heard.

The new emergency phone systems can be heard in a large space, such as the library or football field.

The new Mass Notification System will be able to zone out the campus.

“If there is a gas leak in the Science Building, we can notify the science wing without notifying the entire campus. We are also able to release students from a lock down slowly and by areas,” Nelson said.

According to district policy and administrative priorities, campus safety is a priority for the college.

“These safety technologies will enable the police department to provide for better public safety coverage of the campus and allow for timely warning of emergency incidents, especially critical when district police have limited personnel resources,” Police Chief Ray Aguirre said. “This technology will act as a ‘force multiplier’ to project campus  safety to an even greater extent.”

Some students have observed that the installation of cameras will not stop crimes from occurring since these cameras will only observe the event but not stop it.

Associated Student Government President Mike Casas said, “I don’t think (the cameras) will stop a thief. It won’t deter criminals from doing what they do. It (the theft) will still happen inside. We need more public service, more officers.  I think the district should find more money to hire more patrol officers so we can have adequate safety on campus.”

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SJCC addresses safety