Campus police: the people behind the badges

Russell Lindquist

Campus Police Chief Joel Javines and Supervisor Frank Laveaga

GROSSMONT COLLEGE-Have you ever wondered who are the people behind the badges of the campus police department?

Undoubtedly campus police fill an important role for safety here at Grossmont. Faculty member Jamie Gould, an instructor in American Sign Language (ASL) was struck by a construction work truck, here on campus, last month. Who was called?  It was campus-police.   Gould has since returned to work.

On Sept. 24, Justin Mullin, a student, was arrested and charged with assault on Luma Shamon, an advisor in the Financial Aid Office. Who was called?  Of course, it was campus police.  Mullin since has been arraigned and faces trial.

Occasionally fights on campus occur.  Even group-fights happen.  Upon hearing this, some students may say, “Really? Fights? But I never see fights!”  That is  the point: whether it is stopping a fight, or diffusing a confrontation which could otherwise lead to a fight – campus police officers are on the job every day, here on campus.

But the officers deal with a lot more than fighting: campus police provide many other services which go largely unnoticed by the majority of students:
·         Did you lock your keys in your car on campus?  Well, call campus police, and they will solve that quickly!
·         Did your car-battery die?  Again: call campus-police; and your problem will be solved.

Those are just two of the many services rendered by campus police.

Besides being public servants, the police are – of course – people.  And each one of them has expressed, to me, a preference for students to not pass by – blank-faced – but rather to wave, to perhaps even say, “hi!”

Chief Joel Javines is the director of Public Safety here at Grossmont.  When I interviewed him recently, I asked how I or my fellow students should address  him. His response: “Call me Joel – that’s my name!”

So the next time you see a campus police officer, feel free to wave and say ‘hi’.  Joel Javines will certainly smile and respond with a ‘hi’ of his own, as will Officers Bashir Abdi, Marco Bareno, Kenneth Coleman, Sylvester Jones, Ryan Montalvan, Chris Nanquil, Mark Rensink and Hector Schlemmer and Supervisors Frank Laveaga and Dave Peralto.

Lindquist is a student in Media Comm 132