CSULB Selected Nation’s Fifth ‘Most Secure’ University/CollegePublished: December 15, 2008
CSULB was selected the fifth “most secure” university/college in the nation by Security Magazine in its annual “Security 500” rankings, released in the publication’s November issue.
Only 66 universities and colleges from across the United States were recognized in the magazine’s 2008 rankings. CSULB was the top-ranked California university/college on the list and one of just two universities/colleges in the western United States ranked in the top 12.
“The safety and well-being of our students, faculty and staff is of paramount importance to us at Cal State Long Beach,” said CSULB President F. King Alexander.
“We have for many years had a strong reputation as a safe campus, and we are committed to this goal in order to provide the best possible educational environment for our students, faculty and staff,” the president added. “This ranking from Security Magazine adds credibility to and enhances our reputation as a safe university.”
For the first time ever, the magazine changed its “Security 500” rankings this year, breaking the list into what the it called “16 vertical markets” to enable like organizations to compare programs.
“I believe there were a number of recent initiatives, programs and policy enhancements that influenced our placement in the rankings this year,” noted Stan Skipworth, CSULB’s chief of University Police. “In the last 12 to 18 months, we’ve installed a new emergency communications system to alert the entire campus community in the event of an emergency. We’ve also recently installed a new camera system that gives our department the ability to monitor activities of the campus grounds and facilities and respond with the very best information. This technology has given us advantages certainly in many crime prevention efforts, but it also helps us to find persons in need of medical aid much faster in many cases, and we can manage our traffic and transportation programming more effectively.”
Other improvements Skipworth mentioned include increased police patrols to reduce crime, expanded community outreach programs, dedicated bicycle and green vehicle uses and upgrades to the department’s Clery security reporting.
The purpose of the “Security 500,” the magazine explained, is to create a reliable database to measure an organization compared to others and create a benchmarking program among security organizations. The results will enable organizations to know where they stand as a basis of an on-going peer review process.
“We’ve made some important improvements over the last year or so, and we are continually looking at other ways to make this campus safer for our campus community,” Skipworth pointed out. “It is gratifying that the campus’ current efforts and recent improvements have been recognized through these rankings.”
Joining CSULB in the top five were the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Florida, Vanderbilt University and the College of DuPage in Illinois. Other top California institutions appearing on the list were UC Irvine (6), Loma Linda University Adventist Health Services (18), USC (23), UC Berkeley (35) and San Diego State University (39).
Under the “Education: Universities and Colleges” section, Security Magazine reported that the most visible investment for college and universities over the last year has been in mass communication systems. The second successful program is the ongoing effort to train students, teachers and employees to be aware of their surroundings and not hesitate reporting suspicious behavior or contacting security if they feel even slightly threatened.
The magazine also reported that campus officers are being mobilized with bikes, Segways, three-wheelers and other eco-friendly transportation vehicles. The complete campus officer, it added, is also prepared as a customer service representative.