Community update Message from Police Chief Oweis - UC Santa Cruz.txt by SantaCruzSentinel


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Home <../../index.html> » 2013 » February <index.html> » Community
update: Message from Police Chief Oweis

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  Community update: Message from Police Chief Oweis

A campus safety forum will take place on Wednesday, February 20, from
7:00 to 8:30 p.m. in Classroom Unit 2

February 19, 2013

To the UC Santa Cruz Community,

I realize that the recent violent crimes, both on and off the campus,
have increased anxiety within our community over the past couple of
weeks. These crimes are extremely troubling, and I want to assure you
that the police are doing everything we can to solve these crimes and
keep you safe.

The purpose of this communication is to provide you with additional
information about the investigation and actions that are being
undertaken to enhance support and safety for the community.

Currently, we are working closely with the City of Santa Cruz Police
Department to follow up on investigative leads, provide extra patrols,
keep the community informed of updates, and address community concerns.
Due to the recent crimes in the local off-campus community, and because
our students and staff live, work, and participate in the Santa Cruz
community, it is critical that our efforts take into consideration
campus safety as well as the safety of our local Santa Cruz community.
In fact, I will be attending a meeting this evening being organized by
Santa Cruz Neighbors that will include Mayor Bryant and Chancellor
Blumenthal as hosts. I anticipate that one of the important topics that
will be discussed is that of crime in the local community and the call
for enhanced safety throughout the city of Santa Cruz.

For the campus, there are several key events and advisories that I want
to bring to your attention:

*Campus Safety Forum.* The administration will host a campus safety
forum on Wednesday, February 20, from 7:00 to 8:30 PM in Classroom Unit
2. This forum is open to all members of the campus community, including
all students, staff, and faculty. The purpose of the forum will be to
provide updated information and to provide a space for questions and
discussion about the recent crimes and ways to enhance the safety of our
campus community. This event will be videotaped for those who are
unable to attend the forum and the video will be placed on the UCPD
website <> by Friday, February 22.

*Night Safety Escort Service.* I am working closely with UCSC's
Community Safety Program (part of our Colleges, Housing, and Educational
Services unit) to develop and introduce a night safety escort service
between the hours of 8:00 PM and 2:45 AM. This program will be offered
as a pilot for the next several weeks and is intended to provide
assistance for individuals who need support as they move about campus.
This is not intended to replace existing services such as the Metro and
Campus Shuttles or to discourage students from walking in groups. It
will be a limited service for individuals who have no other option and
need a safety escort. To request a safety escort, call the UC Santa Cruz
Dispatch Center, CSO line at 831-459-2100.

*Self-Defense Weapons.* I have received several questions regarding the
carrying of pepper spray and self-defense weapons such as Tasers. I must
remind you that possession of taser-type devices is illegal on the
campus. There are some restrictions on the size of the containers (must
be less than 2.5 oz), and they may only be used in self-defense
situations. Those wishing to carry pepper spray should receive training
before carrying the canisters.

*Support Resources for Staff and Students.*   During periods like this,
we know that people can sometimes experience heightened feelings of
anxiety or distress. Students can access support through Counseling and
Psychological Services at the Student Health Center by calling
831-459-2628. Staff and faculty may access counseling support through
the Employee Assistance Program by calling 866-808-6205.

*Prevention and Education Programs. * A number of campus units are also
beginning to discuss ways in which the campus can provide additional
training for staff and students in the areas of personal self-defense,
personal use of pepper spray, and personal safety. Additional details
for these programs will be published shortly.

*CruzAlert.* Incidents like the one that occurred this past weekend
give the campus an opportunity to assess the campus's emergency text and
voicemail system. If you are signed up to receive alerts and didn't
receive the most recent notification, please send an email message to If you are not signed up to receive these messages,
please take a few minutes to do so by going to You may also just log into that site and
verify that the system has your most current contact information.

*Community Assistance*. Recent fliers have been distributed with
descriptions of the suspects involved in these crimes. It is imperative
that we receive any information that you may have regarding these
suspects (please see the description and police sketch
<> of the
suspect in Sunday's sexual assault and battery.) Without the community’s
assistance, these crimes may go unsolved. You may report information
about these crimes directly to the UC Santa Cruz Police Department or
the City of Santa Cruz Police Department.

*Report Suspicious Activity.* As the additional “eyes and ears” of law
enforcement, it is important for the community to report all suspicious
activity immediately by dialing 911. Prompt and detailed reporting of
suspicious activities can help prevent violent crimes. When providing
these reports please include a brief description of the activity; date,
time and location of the activity; physical identifiers of anyone you
observed; description(s) of vehicles; and, any information about the
direction of travel of people involved in suspicious activities

The UC Santa Cruz Police Department can also be reached at 831-459-2231.
Reports may also be made ANONYMOUSLY to the UC Santa Cruz Police
Department by calling 831-459-3TIP (459-3847) or online at

The City of Santa Cruz Police Department may also be reached at (831)
420-5820. ANONYMOUS information may be left on the City of Santa Cruz
Police Department TIP LINE (831) 420-5995 or through their mobile iPhone
and Android App.

*Staying Safe. * Each of us shares in the responsibility for keeping our
community safe*.* The Police Department cannot do it alone. Nonetheless,
I encourage you to stay safe by using good judgment and safety sense at
all times. It is imperative you remain aware of your surroundings and
stay alert. Use well lit roads and pathways and trust your instincts.
If something does not feel right do not hesitate to call the police.
 Remember, if you */See Something, Say Something, Do Something!/*

Nader Oweis, Chief of Police
University of California, Santa Cruz

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