An update on the progress of UC’s Community Safety Plan
Since beginning in his role as Director of Systemwide Community Safety over a year ago, Jody Stiger has visited every UC campus to build relationships and learn how best to support his office’s objective: ensuring that members of the UC community are safe and feel safe. The visits highlighted the uniqueness of each UC community and demonstrated the significant progress that each campus has made in the implementation of the Community Safety Plan.
One area of progress has been in the shift toward a more holistic approach to safety. Each campus has invested in hiring multidisciplinary teams of public safety specialists who are not sworn police officers, working to ensure that calls for service are handled by responders with the most appropriate training and skills. In 2022, over one hundred thousand calls across the system were handled by non-law enforcement personnel — such as the UC Santa Cruz Campus Mobile Crisis Team, UC Riverside Highlander EMTs and UC Davis campus safety specialists.
Milestones established in the Community Safety Plan to ensure accountability and independent oversight take longer to implement because of the strict processes that govern them. For example, the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA) accreditation process takes approximately 36 months to complete. All campuses have begun the process, and UC Berkeley recently became the third campus to complete the process and earn accreditation. Similarly, each campus is on track to fully implement their Police Accountability Boards by late fall or early winter of this year, guided by the Office of Systemwide Community Safety and the well-established process in place at UC Davis.
Since the introduction of the Community Safety Plan, safety professionals across the system have worked together and learned from each other. The inaugural UC Community Safety Conference in November will provide an invaluable opportunity for high-quality training and the sharing of best practices across the system. The conference, which will be held in Orange County from Nov. 8-9, is welcome to all members of the UC community who are interested in the work of reimagining community safety.