Keeping our campus safe

To: UC Santa Cruz community

From: Nader Oweis, Chief of Police

The UC Santa Cruz Police Department would like to thank our campus community for your assistance and for exhibiting calm during Wednesday’s investigation of a report of a possibly armed person on campus. Your calls alerted us, then helped us determine there was no danger or threat. The person was a teen with a toy that closely resembled a firearm.

We understand, given the mass shootings we’ve seen across the nation, that notifications like the one you received can be unnerving. That hour between Cruz Alerts was a very long one for many people. Decisions to send alerts are not made lightly. The safety of our campus community is always our top priority, and we sent it out of an abundance of caution.

The incident highlights how our community can work together to keep our campus safe: If you see something or someone suspicious, hear someone talking about harming themselves or others, call our Dispatch Center at 831-459-2231, ext. 1. In an emergency, immediately call 911.

Our department is currently training various campus groups on how best to respond during these types of incidents. In October, we plan to hold additional trainings for anyone in our campus community who wants to come. We will notify the campus and post more details on our department website as they become available.

Finally, remember campus has resources available to anyone impacted by Wednesday’s incident. In addition to support services offered by staff in our colleges, Counseling and Psychological Services provides assistance for students. The Employee Assistance Program can provide counseling and support for staff and faculty. In difficult times, it is vital that we support one another.