Campus hopes to improve security

Beep. Beep. Beep. The morning alarm goes off . A student showers, gets dressed, brushes teeth and  finds a way to the Clackamas Community College campus. In the midst of the many routines encountered in the morning, one doesn’t usually stop to think: will something bad happen at school today?

Are students really protected and secure while being on campus grounds? Bob Cochran, Dean of Campus Services, has many departments under his wing and one of them is campus safety.

“My team takes care of the custodial department, engineering, maintenance, campus safety, duplication and the mail room,” Cochran said.

On Oct. 13, the Director of Campus Safety Suzy Isham resigned her position here at CCC for a job opportunity at Oregon Health and Science University, leaving her current position vacant.

“We are searching for strong things,” said Cochran,“Background in policing, someone that understands that the college is different. Different demographics and we are in the business of education… the position is being advertised now. We should
have someone hired by mid December.”

At this time, Cochran has stepped in to the position of Director of Campus Safety until someone is hired later this year. Although the position is being temporarily  filled, most students feel a lack of safety while being on campus.

“I honestly don’t feel safe when I’m walking on campus,” said Tracy Robertson, a CCC student. “I have a Taser in my purse and when I run, [and] I carry pepper spray on a lanyard because you never know what may happen. Even when I’m not running, I
carry it around my neck.”

Many students feel the same way. “When I leave campus late there is usually someone already waiting for me at the parking lot, but I don’t feel safe,” said Tyra Keet, a student at CCC. “I always carry around a stainless steel water bottle on me so if
someone tries to do something, I can hit them with it.”

Other schools around the area have improved their campus safety. Schools like Portland State University
and University of Oregon have emergency phones on campus, so if someone is in danger, they can push the button and the department of campus safety will be noticed.

“CCC should have these emergency phone systems on campus, and I feel that it should be a requirement for all large schools to have systems like these,” said Hi’Shale Brown, a student at CCC. “It’s not like high school when we are all in the same building.  There are many buildings here and the campus closes a lot later.”

Campus Safety officer Pete Kandratie said students should still be aware of the services we already have. “We have something similar like that already,” said Kandratie . “We have courtesy phones in each building. They aren’t as practical to just pushing a
button, you still have to dial a number.”

If the $90 million bond measure passed, the emergency phones would be a new addition. “We hope to have six to 12 emergency call boxes,” said Cochran. “If you need to be escorted to your car you can dial 6650 on your phone. You can also sign up to Flash Alert, which is the best way we can communicate with you.”

CCC always has an officer monitoring the Oregon City campus, as well as Harmony and Wilsonville campuses. The regular operation hours for the department of campus safety is from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m.

by: Alberto Hernandez

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Alberto Hernandez