FEBRUARY 22, 2006
A retreat of the Maricopa County Community College District Governing Board was scheduled to be held at 8:30 a.m. in the Reading Room of the Paul A. Elsner Library (Mesa Community College) in Mesa, Arizona, pursuant to A.R.S. §38-431.02, notice having been duly given.
Scott Crowley, President
Ed Contreras, Secretary
Don Campbell, Member
Linda Rosenthal, Member
Jerry Walker, Member
Mary Kay Kickels
Sally Buxton for Homero Lopez
CALL TO ORDER
The retreat was called to order at 8:30 a.m. by Governing Board President Scott Crowley with brief welcome remarks.
Chancellor Glasper came forward and remarked that he had been requested to have a dialogue regarding college safety. He called attention to the chronological overview handout and powerpoint which summarized the events that had taken place since December 2001 to the present on the issue of college safety. (Handout attached)
These events included:
Dec. 2001 – Feb. 2002 Ad Hoc Committee to study but make no recommendations relating to arming safety officers
April 25, 2002 Governing Board Retreat to discuss study
May 28, 2002 Governing Board meeting action: Board tabled Arming Safety Officer action item to get input from employee groups, students, campuses
June 5, 2002 Chancellor appoints CEC Safety Subcommittee to get input
7,240 SURVEYS of employees & students returned
81% feel “safe”; 4% feel “unsafe”
#1 - Additional lighting in parking lots
#8 (of 11) - Arming Safety Officers
Dec. 10, 2002 Faculty Executive Council states at Governing Board meeting that safety reports be used, not survey
January 30, 2003 Report of the CEC Safety Subcommittee is sent to CEC for discussion at their February 5 meeting. Discussion occurs but no action is recorded at February 5 meeting
March 25, 2003 Governing Board meeting to discuss arming safety officers and the report of the CEC Safety Subcommittee
Action: Board votes 3-2 to defeat a motion to allow the arming of safety officers
May 2004 New Leadership and Subsequent Review and Action
Spring 2004 Directors of College Safety present a proposal to the District Safety Committee to discuss issues such as structure, naming of departments and officers, minimum staffing levels, etc. The goal is greater professionalism
College Safety Work Group established
June – Sept. 2004 College Safety Work Group meets ten times
Oct. 4, 2004 Report of the College Safety Work Group completed
Report contains Consensus Recommendations all members agreed on, and two Alternative Recommendations, one from College Safety Officers/Directors and one from Faculty Association/Deans of Student Services.
Consensus Recommendations on Core Issues; Districtwide Operations; College Operations; Staffing; Training; Equipment & Services; Grant Funding; Timelines & Costs; No Consensus on Arming Safety Officers
Alternative Recommendation #1
College Safety Directors/Officers
Change titles to Campus Police Officer and Campus Security Officer
Arm police officers
Alternative Recommendation #2
Faculty Association/Deans of Student Services
Use a security force organizational model, not police function model
Do not arm safety officers
Dec. 20, 2004
Response of Deans of Student Services:
Keep name College Safety, not Department of Public Safety
District Safety Committee should recommend, not establish, number or percentage of certified officers
Majority do not support arming officers
Feb. 3, 2005
Response of Administrative Services Deans:
Keep name College Safety
District Safety Committee should recommend, not establish number or percentage of
Agree/do not support arming officers until “groundwork” is laid
Should assess hiring process before acting to expedite process
Develop cost estimate for pilot program before moving forward
March 2, 2005 CEC hears presentation on professional credentialing of College Safety Department; SCC is considering credentialing
June 15, 2005 CEC receives College Safety Work Group Report with responses from Deans’ Councils and is asked to provide comments and suggestions for moving forward
Sept. 7, 2005 CEC discusses issue of hiring certified officers and review of the Report and Responses related to the College Safety Work Group
Sept. 28, 2005 Chancellor, Vice Chancellors, Presidents meet in retreat. CEC Subcommittee formed to review issues, College Safety Work Group Report and Responses
Dec. 7, 2005 CEC Subcommittee on College Safety Work Group Report discussed at CEC meeting
Recommendations supported and moved forward to Chancellor for implementation:
a) Colleges to hire non-certified and certified officers according to mix determined by
b) College to determine staffing “standards” based on need
c) College Safety should be the name; possibly amend Board policy
d) Process for hiring certified officers should be expedited; need simpler process for hiring non-certified with Director performing background check
e) College Safety Officers should not be armed
f) No support for a pilot project; expand District Safety Committee to add VC-Student &
Community Affairs; VP-Student Affairs, VP-Administrative Services; 2 faculty
representatives and others as appropriate
Jan. 12, 2006 Chancellor’s meeting with Dr. Helfgot, Mr. Kushibab, Dr. Giovannini, Dr. Saldana-Talley, Mr. Bill Crawford to discuss CEC’s recommendations
Discussion of coordination of operations centrally, not command of operations centrally
Chancellor approves CEC recommendations for implementation
Jan. – Feb. 2006 College Safety Directors/Officers begin to meet individually with Governing Board members
Feb. 22, 2006 Governing Board Retreat on College Safety issues
Dr. Glasper commented that up until December 7 the process was still on task and perhaps he could be criticized for not completing the review in a timely manner. He asked to meet with a subcommittee who had more in-depth knowledge of what was going on. There was a meeting with Board Members and College Safety Officers that occurred prior to his final recommendations and therefore he chose to not change the CEC recommendations and to proceed with the upcoming retreat. Today was intended to discuss where things stood, for board members to listen, decide what deadlines needed to be set and agree on outcomes.
Wilfred McFadden came forward next and expressed appreciation for the opportunity to provide some ongoing concerns about college safety. He stated that consensus existed that students, staff, and visitors deserved to have the highest level of safety possible. Mr. McFadden then provided a historical account of campus safety since mid-2005:
• Responses to College Safety Workgroup Report
• Subcommittee identified key points
• Subcommittee condensed it to six issues
• CEC submitted the recommendations
• Chancellor ratified the recommendations and took immediate action by expediting
o Expansion of a District Safety Committee
o The hiring process
In January, the College Safety Directors had a meeting to talk about the recommendations. The following responses were made regarding the recommendations:
• The subcommittee recommendations to CEC were discussed at length. A director volunteered that a written response to the recommendations had been prepared and agreed to send it out to the other directors for immediate feedback...
• A motion was passed by the Directors agreeing that the author of the responses to the CEC would share the document with the group, and that each director will offer feedback via email finalizing our response.
• The following identifies the directors’ collaborative response regarding the six issues which philosophically follows those forwarded to the Chancellor:
Item 1: Hiring Non-certified Personnel
“Individual colleges should be able to hire non-certified college safety personnel to supplement POST certified college safety officers. Directors of College Safety should continue to be certified. Individual colleges should follow minimum staffing guidelines to determine the mix of positions. The mixture and number of officers assigned to each campus should be uniform across the district, determined by student, faculty, and staff population.”
Item 2: Minimum Staffing Levels
“Each college should follow minimum staffing guidelines, determined by the District, to establish proper College Safety staffing levels. Students, faculty and staff members should have the same level of protection per capita regardless of college location or student population. The staffing of College Safety departments should be consistent throughout the District to avoid the perception of unequal protection and possible litigation in the event of a safety related injury or accident.
Item 3: Name of Department
“College Safety should be the name...”
Item 4: Hiring Process
“The hiring process should be housed at the District level, under the supervision of the Office of General Counsel. Hiring a half-time person at a college could lead to questions of bias and favoritism in the hiring process. Use of an outside contractor would produce hires not familiar with the MCCD culture, resulting in a sterile, non-customer oriented service style of campus law enforcement. Serious consideration should be given to the proposal to switch retirement plans from ASRS to PSPR to allow for lateral transfers and to increase the diversity of College Safety.”
Item 5: Arming Certified Officers
“The arming of Certified College Safety Officers is inappropriate at this time due to personnel, training and policy issues. A sub committee of the Safety Committee should be established to locate, customize and institute modern safety policies to be adhered to by all College Safety departments. The director of College Safety at each campus should be held accountable for adherence to rules and standards. Standardized uniforms, disciplinary and operating policies and procedures must be established before any thought can be given to arming certified officers.
Item 6: District Level Director
“A pilot project to coordinate district wide college safety needs is imperative for the efficient coordination of the College Safety function. A definitive leader is needed to direct the operations of College Safety at the District level. A unified command structure is the model in use by nearly all post-secondary security and police departments across the country.”
Looking Toward the Future of College Safety
Accreditation: CALEA or IACLEA
PSPRS – Public Safety Retirement Options
Automated Records System
Active Participants in Student Development
Keyless Entry Systems
Crime Prevention Education
Better Surveillance Equipment
Chancellor Glasper resumed the podium and called for open dialogue.
Linda Rosenthal spoke first and indicated that she had inquired of Ruth Unks, Maricopa’s Risk Manager, about the liability with the existing system as it now stands and was told that we should have either college safety or college police and we need to do what we can afford.
Ruth Unks commented that our current system does create a liability. She had made inquiries of two separate groups and they both have issues. Consistency is the better alternative. Right now we don’t know how many officers there are on each campus and we should ensure consistency by providing training, clothing, and job titles.
Scott Crowley inquired of the entire group if each campus was represented at this meeting. Response was yes.
Jerry Walker commented that the existing system provided no infrastructure and that a hierarchy was needed to help identify college safety personnel. He indicated that there needs to be a centralized structure in place.
Scott Crowley stated that although there was no consistency throughout the system, a process was in place to formulate one answer. If the process was taking too long, that was okay because this is something that needed to be studied.
Ed Contreras came forward to speak about the misconceptions he has heard. College Safety came out of the box with the issue that came before the Board in 2003 which was voted down 3-2. Board Members were approached from both sides as to what should be done. When the vote was turned down, he called the College Safety Group and asked to meet with them. Based on information that he was provided, he stated that he could not see giving them gun privileges because there were other things that needed to be done. He told the College Safety that if they were concerned about the lack of a coordinated effort, they needed to look at overall picture. College Safety needs to be standardized across the District so they could be readily identified. MCCCD is looked upon as a leader but he was not sure this was the case with College Safety. He told them to propose something but not to recommend guns. They did this and it took three years. Complaints were made that it was taking too long but he reassured them that they needed to follow the process. Mr. Contreras encouraged them to share their concerns with other board members. The following concerns were expressed:
• We don’t have standards across the district
• There is no standardized training
• There is no central command in place at the District
• Although there are no serious crimes, there are some patterns with equipment being stolen. Trends should indicate what may need to be done.
• Best practices should be looked at.
College Safety Officer from Mesa Community College stated that in 1997 they experienced $44,000 in lost property and after they started arresting people who were stealing, losses dropped down to $10,000. There needs to be a policy regarding use of force and policies should be the same across the District.
Don Campbell stated that when people come onto our campuses that heighten the level of security needed, these visitors should provide their own.
Ken Atwater commented that students on his campus like the name college safety and that they have a safe environment.
Art DeCabooter commented that the title of police implies everyone is a police officer.
Scott Crowley stated that police force implies a lot of financial resources. The difference in designation between certified public safety officer and college safety implies level of professionalism or investigation versus protection.
John Boyle commented that police has a bad connotation and students don’t need to have that on campus. There is a need for an official job description for college safety officer.
Art DeCabooter stated that the most recent board action was in 1995 when a district-wide safety committee was called for.
Chancellor Glasper resumed speaking and indicated that the last couple of months have enlightened him to some things about this important issue that needed to be addressed. He recommended expanding the district safety committee and coming back in 3-4 months with a recommendation and having something in place no later than June 30. Best practice standards should be looked into and necessary staffing should be explored. He has been questioned about the process and that he did not take fast enough action and that reporting should be directly to the Chancellor because it is believed that Presidents don’t know what is happening at their campuses. If disagreement exists, he is sure he will be told and he will have discussion about that. He has been working with Vice Chancellor Debbie Thomson and discussing and working on a process to put in place. He admitted we have been lucky. This is a data driven decision and the recommendation had not been finalized and he had not been given the opportunity to present that choice so he took on a defensive stance. This decision needs to be made. He will recommend to the Governing Board that there be a third party consultant hired that is familiar with College Safety and that this person look into this issue and propose something at the last board meeting in June. This person will look at recommendations from CEC and College Safety.
Dr. Glasper commented on people not following the process and he was very irritated with this. He asked everyone to get back in the box and sit down with him before they go to Board Members. He stated that everyone will work together and have a consensus on these issues. His evaluation is in May and he would like to let Board Members know where these issues stand.
Mr. Contreras spoke up and said that since he does not have the answers and would like to know how MCCCD’s college safety stands relative to standards. This is an issue that involves students, employees, and visitors.
Mr. Walker indicated that he had not been approached by College Safety personnel, but that he approached them at the request of state legislators to ask them what should be done.
Mrs. Rosenthal stated that she believes in process but has an obligation as a board member to listen to both external and internal communities. Employees were very abused by the last District Chancellor. Board Members are the eyes and ears of the District and when the process is not working efficiently, they need to force things to happen.
College Safety Miscellaneous Comments:
• A sex offender was present on the EMC campus, specifically the women’s restroom.
• Some campuses don’t allow the wearing of uniforms, therefore, why hire a police officer?
• Practices need to be standardized.
Mr. Crowley requested reconvening the safety committee and having the issues addressed by June 30. He recommended having all College Safety Directors on this committee. Mr. Contreras requested that Ruth Unks also be on the committee.
The retreat adjourned at 10:20 a.m.
Governing Board Secretary