Athletics and Facilities Management Talks
Chief Cisneros was hard at work making positive connections around the campus at the start of the academic year. In partnership with Dr. Mandy Mount and the CARE Office, he presented to one hundred new student athletes. He told the students that the UCI Police Department is here to help them if they ever find themselves in trouble because we have many fantastic resources and officers who can assist them during a time of need. His message to the students was that UCIPD is a community oriented police department and he proceeded to share some of our facts and statistics, such as 33% of our staff are UCI Alumni and that officers only ticket 20% of all traffic stops. “Has anyone ever went bowling and used the gutter guards?”, he asked. No one acknowledged him. “Come on, I know you’ve done it”, he said with a grin. Many students started chuckling as they shyly raised their hands. “Terrific! Think of UCIPD as being those gutter guards. We are here to simply guide you down the right path so you can be successful here at UCI.” Chief appealed to the group a little more when he disclosed that we have an officer, Duane Solomon, who was previously on the UCI Track & Field team which elicited cheers from teammates who used to run with him. Educating the students about the the make up of the UCI Police Department is one of Chief’s strategy to building a stronger bond with the student body. Students reacted positively and were engaged throughout Chief’s presentation. He related some of his days as a college student in order to convince the group that he knew some of the traditions and parties that a typical college student goes through. He advised the group on alcohol safety, the dangers of hazing, and to be a good ambassador for UCI when they travel for games. At the end of his presentation with the athletes, he offered a prize of ten UCIPD branded sunglasses to whoever could answer his question. He asked, “Who can tell me, from what I said in my presentation, how much it costs for a DUI?”. “$13,000 - $28,000!”, shouted an athlete. Many of the students had no idea the penalty was that high and seemed to ponder at the thought of breaking that news to their parents if they were ever caught with a DUI.
However, there was no time to mingle as Chief was onto his next presentation with the Facilities Management group. When he arrived, many of the staff seemed excited at his presence. There was also a sense of comfort as Chief conducted the whole presentation in Spanish, which was the native language to many of the staff. In his usual good humor, he was able to make them laugh as he interjected humorous stories into his overall message of community policing. The importance of reaching out to the Facilities Management group lied in the fact that many of them work late into the evening, giving them a different perspective of the campus when all the hustle and bustle of student life has subsided. They may see suspicious things or situations and the Chief encouraged them to reach out to the Police Department so that we can send an officer to investigate and mitigate crime. In a way, these custodial staff can also serve as the eyes and ears of the campus since they are able to cover a larger area than even CSOs and officers. Despite the heat in the cramped room, the Chief remained behind to patiently answer questions from the staff. Many questions revolved around circumstances with people, either transients or students, who remain in lecture halls or buildings beyond normal business hours. We look forward to seeing the Chief continue his outreach to the campus.