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Public Affairs

To Protect and Serve the CSU

Nov. 15, 2012
By Elizabeth Chapin

To Protect and Serve the CSU

California State University campuses are among the safest in the state. Their high safety ratings demonstrate the commitment university police have in promoting and maintaining a safe campus environment—as well as their dedication to serving the CSU.

The CSU’s 23 campuses are home to more than 460 sworn peace officers who undergo the same rigorous academy as county and city officers, as well as an additional 16 weeks of specialized campus training. And although CSU police have authority throughout the state, the campus and its nearby vicinity is their primary focus.

Each campus has its own police department with a chief who is in charge of the officers and administrative duties. The chief reports to the campus president and works with the CSU’s systemwide police chief.

“At the systemwide level, we maintain a wider view with respect to policy and law enforcement strategies,” said Nathan Johnson CSU systemwide police chief. “We are looking into technology, dispatch systems and equipment that may create cost savings and consistency throughout the system.”

For CSU officers the top priority is safety. And on campus, it starts with students.

In addition to law and parking enforcement, CSU police provide programs and services ranging from bicycle registration and fingerprinting to self defense classes, alcohol awareness, safety escorts and special event security. They also offer information sessions and workshops to make sure students are aware of them.

University police also collaborate with other campus departments such as athletics and housing. For example, each semester, Chico State police and University Housing host “freshman safe start,” which is aimed to provide support and safety training to all incoming freshman students living in the dorms.

In addition, nearly every CSU also has community service officers (CSOs), student employees that help provide support services to the police department and build a stronger relationship between police and students.

Police regularly reach out to campus neighbors, too. Many campuses such as CSU Northridge hold annual community events to give families that live near campus the opportunity to learn about resources, emergency operations and vehicle and personal safety.

“The campus is not an island. Many of the CSU campuses are in small communities that depend on the officers,” said Johnson. “It’s important to build those ties.”

Visit the systemwide risk management and public safety website for more information about CSU's law enforcement.