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July 20, 2004 > Ohlone College Police Work for Campus Safety

Ohlone College Police Work for Campus Safety

Vehicle Donation Needed

by Mekala Raman

The Ohlone College Police Department is a unique organization located in an olive grove on the college campus. This program, which has been in service since 1975, uses the resources of six employees (two of whom are police officers, the rest safety officers) to secure the relatively peaceful campus including parts of the Mission Peak trail. The department assists in maintaining a peaceful atmosphere by handling crimes that occur on both Ohlone campus locations - Fremont and Newark.

Ohlone College officers are required to complete specialized training culminating in certification called "POST" or Peace Officer Standards of Training. These peace officers are employed by the college, patrolling parking lots and investigating crimes on campus. They are charged with the responsibility for the safety of students and teachers and are fully trained and equipped to defend campus personnel and visitors from criminal activity on site. This small force can serve as escorts for students and staff - they may escort an incapacitated or handicapped person. They also provide security for Ohlone campus activities including sports and theatrical events. "We do the same thing as any other police department," says Chief Steven Fajardo, who retired from the Oakland School District last August before coming to Ohlone, "We just do it on a smaller scale." Ohlone police are also trained in disaster preparedness and practice their skills with frequent disaster drills.

Citing illegally parked vehicles and making sure parking fees are paid is part of routine patrols of the Ohlone Police force. Fine collections are used for campus infrastructure such as upgrading roadways and walkways. Chief Fajardo notes that parking infractions can be appealed, but if the ticket is upheld and the fine is not paid, DMV is notified affecting future registration of the vehicle.

Campus safety patrols have recently become something of a problem since one of the patrol cars is no longer serviceable and a replacement is sorely needed. The small SUV, a donation from the Fremont Fire Department, was excellent on varying terrain due to its size and four-wheel drive. The loss of this vehicle is difficult to replace due to budget cuts. The force is currently reduced to using two cars and two mountain bikes for six men. An advertised appeal for a donated vehicle remains unanswered so far. The department will accept any well-running, reliable vehicle. Any car donation would be greatly appreciated.

For more information or to donate a car call (510) 659-6111.

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