Campus safety measures updated but ignored

By Cassie Ordonio

City College’s new smartphone add-on has yet to improve campus safety, in spite of campus police launching the 911 Shield Safety app during the beginning of the spring semester.

Police Chief Andre Barnes said he sent a mass email to students and faculty with an embedded video for instructions and procedures on how to use the app. However, no one has used the app yet this year.

Out of the thousands of students and faculty at the college, only 319 have downloaded it. Most students and faculty are unaware there is a safety app.

“They have an app for that now?” said Kelly Cuff, a law major. “What’s wrong with just calling 911?”

For accuracy purposes, 911 Shield Safety provides texting services to the campus police with faster responses by notifying officers within a few seconds. It gives students freedom to file reports both anonymously and discreetly.

Since the Rosenberg Library altercation on Oct. 13, 2015 involving a student allegedly carrying a gun, the college has taken steps to ensure the safety of its students.

City College police department's safety app (Photo by Franchon Smith/The Guardsman)
City College police department’s safety app (Photo by Franchon Smith/The Guardsman)

Facilities and Planning have been working on their Master Plan to upgrade maintenance on campus, including the emergency call boxes. According to the plan, the call boxes are outdated and need replacements.

Currently there are seven call boxes located in the parking lots on Ocean campus. This does not include the phones located within buildings.

Repairation costs were last estimated at $25,000 in 2014.

“We can’t assume that people have access to cellphones,” said Mariam Lam from the Facilities and Planning department. “To have the call boxes throughout campus would be an added measure of security.”