By Onyx Hunter
If you’re like many students returning to in-person learning you’ve seen the cops around campus, in fact it’s kind of swarming with them. I haven’t been on campus without seeing a squad car or an officer.
So why are they there? It’s a question on the top of my mind and many other people in the face of distrust in police authority, especially in increasingly metropolitan areas. Cops are often treated with a disdain that’s been unseen until recent years.
The distrust and animosity is not unwarranted especially when it comes to continual abuse of power in cases innumerable, Rodney King, George Floyd, etc.
But the campus Police Force are not equipped with armored cars, or swat personnel equipment, they ticket parked cars.
The presence of a squad car is often marked with the lack of presence of other vehicles around it. For all of Ocean Campus’ blemishes, the parking lots are surprisingly well guarded.
But why are officers giving the tickets? doesn’t the SF-Municipal Transit Agency enforce parking infractions primarily? The ticketers from Municipal Transit are mobile, their job is not to focus on particular places but to be a looming threat throughout the city. If you don’t obey the parking law they might just get you this time! In contrast City College is a single place and devoting a portion of your enforcement agency here would be inefficient and wasteful.
So finally, why isn’t the district or college responsible instead? Several years ago conclusions may have been different. The answer today is more than sufficient for demanded answers. City College is no place to create its own authority to oversee it. Semester after semester the staff and budget at City College has buckled. SF Police Department has seen it’s own fair share of staffing problems but is able to manage the situation. The goals of Campus Police are fruitful and achieved regularly.
Although many including myself have reservations about the brandishing of firearms in any environment, the use of Police Officers as an inert authority that is not suffering the ills of City College is welcome.
The use of officers as a means to deter something as small as deviant parking and a security authority that is somewhat well-funded and staffed is a positive.
Although a Police Force does not come without its caveats and baggage, their use as a domestic force is an important cog in the campus’ functioning. Ocean Campus is beautiful and sprawling, it needs every advocate it can get to keep it functioning.