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Questioning parking garage safety at CSULB

Why have a campus PD if our cars aren’t safe?

While cameras may not seem necessary during the day, once night falls, cars are left more susceptible to theft with no means of finding the culprit.

While cameras may not seem necessary during the day, once night falls, cars are left more susceptible to theft with no means of finding the culprit.

Sabrina Flores

Sabrina Flores

While cameras may not seem necessary during the day, once night falls, cars are left more susceptible to theft with no means of finding the culprit.


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The worries around my morning commute should consist of traffic and finding parking. Instead, my biggest concern is wondering whether or not my car is safe in the parking garage.

Since Sept. 28, the first day of the semester, Cal State Long Beach’s University Police  logged 27 calls to parking structure one, two and three, three of which are grand theft auto, one auto-burglary and one standard burglary. In total, there have been five cars stolen across the campus this semester.

This may or may not be a shock, especially after learning the parking garages have minimal security and no video surveillance.

Does the campus police exist so they can be reactionary to whatever campus threat is in vogue, such as bomb threats, rather than the security of students or their property?

Furthermore, does the college’s parking fees only function as a way to price gouge commuter students? Shouldn’t we commuter students actually expect security after shelling out $130 a semester?

If the university really is going to raise the cost of parking, they should at least assure us our cars will be safe on campus.

In all likelihood, you won’t need the boys in blue to protect you from a school shooter or a bomb threat; what you will need them for is the protection of your car. Based off the call log and the lack of anything more than a few blue call boxes in the garage, this responsibility has been woefully shirked for the first month of this semester.  

Instead, the university passes around the donation basket to vaccinate and train a bomb dog that in all likelihood we have little to no use for.

Security in the parking garage on the other hand doesn’t seem to be a priority since we can’t put a cute vest on a security camera and trot it around campus like what may as well be The Beach’s new mascot, Avery the bomb dog (a $5,000 waste of donor money).

Tangible campus safety needs to be a priority, not the school shooter and bomb threat paranoia that seems to be the ever-present boogeyman. Even with shuttles shepherding us to and from the parking garages, that still leaves the problem of our cars being left to the wolves.

There are a few preventative measures in place, such as cameras at the entrances and exits of the garage; there also exists the delusion that there will always be enough students walking to and from cars that you’ll never have to worry, and campus officers execute — infrequent — patrols. But the police’s own call log serves to argue that all three of those safety precautions aren’t enough.

Will University Police continue to be so lackadaisical once there’s another mugging in one of the parking garages, or even worse, an abduction or a rape? This is how slow we are on simple proactive safety measures such as security cameras in the garage rather than just the entrances and exits.

In the interest of a dose of fairness and not sounding too alarmist, chances are your car won’t be broken into or stolen while in class, but the university isn’t doing much to prevent it.

Regardless of that, what’s the point of having a mandated police presence on our college campus if all they function to do is tell us not to smoke on campus, hand out traffic tickets and show off the illustrious career of being an officer of the law during Week of Welcome?

Like many other commuter students, my ability to show up to campus and receive an education rides on having a car. I can take care of regular maintenance to assure that it continues running, but what I can’t completely guard against is theft.

When I paid $130 for a student parking permit  —  and soon to be more in subsequent semesters  —  I didn’t pay just to struggle with finding parking in the morning.

I bought into the high cost for the peace of mind that my car and its tires were secure on campus in a garage rather than out on a side street.


1 Comment

One Response to “Questioning parking garage safety at CSULB”

  1. daniel salazar on October 3rd, 2017 10:46 pm

    The need for more security and surveillance is understandable, but don’t put out the schools current security levels for the entire area to see. Anyone in security knows that you do not reveal your security posture otherwise you just gave thieves more to work with.

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