Updates on community safety services and ongoing engagement

To: UC Santa Cruz community

From: Chancellor Cynthia Larive

Dear Campus Community,

I write to announce that effective July 1, the UC Santa Cruz Campus Safety Community Advisory Board will report directly to the chancellor and will operate with a new, more expansive charge. In consultation with other campus leaders, the Academic Senate and the board’s current membership, we also will review and update the board's composition. UC Santa Cruz first established a police advisory board in 2014 which previously reported to Police Chief Nader Oweis. 

My goal for this reconstituted UC Santa Cruz Campus Safety Community Advisory Board is to create the space necessary for ongoing assessment and change. This is also one space in which to imagine new forms of public safety services and new forms of community engagement that are not structured by opposition. The ultimate goal of the board is to model ways that an institution can hold itself accountable, engage in thoughtful dialogue and collective planning, and place itself on a path for healing. Board membership will be representative of the campus and membership terms will be one or two years and staggered to ensure continuity. 

As white supremacist structures and the mechanisms for enacting anti-Black violence are exposed across the country, our campus must meet this moment by examining our structures and working toward meaningful change. While there are many areas for improvement and arenas for this work on campus, the difficulties of this year and the concerns of our community make a renewed advisory board an important first step. 

I do believe that change is possible. Already our police department has been working to align itself with President Obama’s 21st Century Policing model, which calls on us to recognize “past and present injustice and discrimination and how it is a hurdle to the promotion of community trust.” But we must do more. 

In the near term, our police department is on track to implement all recommendations outlined in the University of California 2019 Policing Task Force Report on time and in addition, will do the following to build on our progress.

  • Conduct an annual assessment that tracks how the department is performing across the six pillars of the report. The first assessment will be due in March 2021 and will be published online. The Campus Safety Community Advisory Board will review the annual assessment and provide feedback to me.

  • We will conduct a survey of students, faculty and staff in October through the UC Berkeley School of Public Policy to get feedback on individual interactions with and perceptions of campus police. 

  • Our police department will pursue full accreditation by the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators. This will expand accountability and competency across all aspects of our campus police department as we set the highest expectations in serving our campus.

  • I am appointing a work group to make recommendations on furthering the strong foundation of diversity in hiring and recruitment within our police department. Already, the hiring process includes a robust diversity recruitment effort and has actively recruited UC graduates who understand the campus environment. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission report Advancing Diversity in Law Enforcement will help frame this effort. I am asking that a set of recommendations from this workgroup be ready for review by December 2020.

  • We will host multiple procedural justice training sessions over the course of the year for members of our campus community and of our police department to train together. All members of the Campus Safety Community Advisory Board will go through this training, including CP/EVC Kletzer and myself.

  • The police department will partner with UCSC Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) and others to develop a Crisis Intervention Team model for responding to mental health calls. This work will be framed by the National Alliance on Mental Illness model.

This work is in addition to continuing training by our campus police in cultural awareness, procedural justice, implicit bias, cultural diversity, hate crimes, trauma-informed interviewing, intimate partner violence, criminal law, constitutional law, and civil rights, as well as managing stressful situations. 

The past year has been a difficult one in many ways. Only by embracing challenges and addressing barriers through transformative and collaborative work can we achieve real and sustainable change.





Cynthia Larive