Prioritizing safety

By Alex Guerra

For many students, it’s so important to consider one’s safety. Even walking around CI at night, one can’t help but feel a sense of uneasiness, as if someone or something is following you. This is also apparent considering the fires that took place last November, in which a huge fire spread throughout Ventura County. In addition, the community was hit with a tragic shooting over at Borderline Bar and Grill, in which a man opened fire and killed 12 people. Many of the victims and participants were college students.

That’s why Chief Michael Morris has taken every precaution to make sure our campus is as safe and secure as it can be, to better prepare ourselves for any event or disaster that we may encounter. Recently, The CI View sat down with him to discuss this further, to better understand the current safety procedures and what plans are in place to improve them. 

To start, the CI campus holds a survivor and active shooter event, in which training is provided by the University Police Department to the CI community to help them understand what to do during such an event. “We doubled the number of course offerings for students,” said Morris. They also have training available online for those who can’t attend. He went on further to discuss several changes that are to be implemented, such as changes to door locks, better alert systems and more efficient communication. 

“They are all going to be networked electronic locks and they will have the ability to be manually locked from the inside,” said Morris. “So not only can individuals inside that space lock that door, but all these doors will be networked so that from a central point from within our dispatch center we’ll be able to remotely control the locks.” This means if any threat arises, the Police Department has the ability to close every door with the click of a button, aiding any instructor or student rushing to lock the doors. 

Another thing he brought up was how CI currently has an audio system in place where they can broadcast their voice to each room and building. Yet not every building has them, so he talked about wanting to multiply the amount of loudspeakers they have on their network. “Pretty much get blanket coverage indoors and outdoors when we send out these messages,” he said. Another thing he covered was digital display boards, which  can be used to display any warnings or messages that would also go through the CI Alert system. 

Through each of these security systems, our interview started drawing on how secure CI is becoming, which really makes one feel safer and more protected when walking throughout the campus. It also further shows how diligent and efficient the Police  Department and rest of the staff are about wanting to make sure every one of the students feels safe and comfortable. 

“Every single time we have an incident or any kind of emergency, we’ll have speed bumps and we’ll learn lessons,” said Morris. “The nice thing is that those are opportunities to make improvements as we move forward.”

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