CSUN Police Department holds safety workshops

Terese Torgersen

Safety workshops that could help prevent crime and violence are being hosted by the university’s police services throughout the year.

For the last five years the CSUN Police Department has hosted free safety workshops for students, faculty, staff and the community during the fall and spring semesters, said Christina Villalobos, crime prevention unit supervisor for CSUN PD.

In 2005, the Clery Center for Security on Campus made September the National Campus Safety Awareness Month (NCSAM) to increase awareness about campus safety challenges and to make safety a priority, said Abigail Boyer, assistant director of communications at The Clery Center.

More than 25 states and 100 institutions will participate in this year’s “Safe Campus, Strong Voices” campaign. Activities include on-campus educational programs, a social media campaign, theater and art projects focusing on campus safety.

“Its goal is to foster a campus environment where individuals treat each other with respect, intervene when harmful situations occur and support those who have been victimized,” Boyer said.

The workshops focus on personal preparedness for emergencies, self-defense for women, identity theft prevention, aerosol defense, residential security and campus preparedness and response. Between five and 10 people attend the workshops, Villalobos said.

“It’s important to provide workshops to increase personal safety and awareness,” Villalobos said.

The No. 1 crime on campus at CSUN is theft of unattended personal property, such as backpacks, cell phones and computers, according to CSUN’s 2010 Annual Security Report & Fire Safety Report. In 2010, there were 318 reported personal property thefts on campus.

Burglary, vehicle theft and simple assault are other common crimes, according to the report.

CSUN offers a variety of options for crime prevention, including: free bicycle registration, registration of equipment with Security Tracking of Office Property for $10 per item, a personal safety escort program and self-defense classes for women.