COS District Police Securing Campuses During Stay At Home Order

Louie Vale, Reporter/Photographer

(Visalia, Calif.) While the stay at home order has taken place across The United States, there has been recent changes in turning the college into remote operation. Less foot traffic, less face-to-face classes, almost little to no people on campus, so what about the district police securing our campus right now during this virtual change?

Amazingly, the District Police have been pretty quiet in the 3 surrounding campuses. So far, Police Academy Director Mizner has officers from 8am to 8pm on a daily routine schedule as you would on a regular basis. Last couple of weeks during the virtual switch, Mizner expanded the hours to 6am in the morning and 10pm at night for his officers on the Visalia campus to make sure custodials and other employees are working and to provide security for them. The District Police is focusing on keeping the encampment setups inside or outside the campus due to the health emergency. 

The District Police isn’t doing a lot virtually. but are on campus and available to take your phone calls. When calling, you will be connected with an officer to help your questions or concerns be answered. As far as protective gear and equipment goes for the COVID-19 pandemic; N95 masks, googles, and plenty of gloves were given to officers to give them an opportunity to protect themselves

 “Citations were reported last week for alcohol on campus for a couple of folks who were non-students. They were cited and sent off campus, but other than that very minimal contact that had any exposure impact at all. So, it’s been pretty fortunate for us so far that we haven’t had any reports of exposure or exposure concerns”. Mizner says.

A couple of weeks ago, a call from a reporting party stated a group had gathered for a soccer game that was in progress at the Hanford Center Campus on a late evening. District Police responded on-scene to break up the soccer game. An officer later contacted the individuals and in which they stated that they are sorry and completely understand they were not supposed to do this here at the Hanford Campus. The individuals playing soccer were later fined and disbursed without any issue.

“I think it’s been new-ground for most people for the police department as well; it really hasn’t impacted us as heavily. Fortunately as a police department on a college campus our job frankly got pretty easy when our student population isn’t here daily. When things quieted down on the campus, this is our jurisdiction so as long as my officers have been healthy. I’ve had no issues with exposures or illness. The officers are able to cover their shifts and make sure the campuses stay secure. It has not required a huge training experience curve for us to try and accomplish our mission” – Mizner

The big question for now is could individuals visit the campus for non essential business or visits? The answer is no. The District Police will utilize the trespassing from campus like any other time you refuse to comply, you will be subject to arrest. The District Police hasn’t received any complaints in the month of April so far. Mizner hopes that it does not have to get to that level. 

Officers are now patrolling the areas of both sides of Woodland and Mooney along the south 2 blocks out. Officers are advised to limit the risk of exposure from traffic stops or other things. They will only stop citizens for most serious safety situations. 

“I’ve got 10 years with the college as a police academy director and as a police officer as the chief. Never experienced anything like this nor my 40 years of law enforcement I have not had anything that I think has come close to this in nature or degree of impact.” – Mizner

District Police would like to let students or lobby visitors know that the lobbies are closed should you have questions or concerns to call the 3 campuses numbers below available to you.

  • Visalia Campus:   730-3999
  • Tulare Center :     688-3299
  • Hanford Center:   583-2599