The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Cops and robbers

City College Police officer Christian Keister (right) talks to N. Martin of campus security Photo by Evan E. Duran || [email protected]

The City College Campus Police department is locked and loaded with advanced tactical capability, which helps keep students safe from theft, acts of violence and gang activity.

“Policing is an interaction between us and the community,” says Officer Jay Lampano, who has worked at City College for over eight years.

The City College Police force uses an arsenal of training along with community outreach efforts to promote safety on campus.

Lampano says officers know of resources on campus and in the community, and sometimes they can help students out by turning them on to these programs.

“We know the beat, we walk the beat every day,” Lampano says. “We see the same people every day, which is something you don’t see in a typical street cop.”

Lampano says he has worked to get multiple guns off campus and has even arrested a suspected murderer on campus.

“There was a report of attempted murder in Rancho Corova,” Lampano says. “We were told that the suspect was a student here.”

“The individual shot his girlfriend, and the bullet passed through her and hit her son or daughter. We received a call that he was on campus.”

Lampano said he saw the suspected murderer walking across the crosswalk on Panther Parkway off Sutterville Road. He arrested the suspect who was later found guilty of murder and other crimes.

Lampano said this story highlights the importance of having a relationship with students because it was students who reported seeing the murder suspect on campus.

“This shows that community-oriented policing works,” Lampano says. “It’s great when students let us know how we can make  the campus safer.”

Part of keeping campus safe involves extensive training, Lampano says.

Since campus police do all their training in-house, they can receive over four times the amount of advanced training as the Sacramento City Police, according to Police Sergeant Mike Olson.

“The officers here have the highest rates of training around,” says Olson. “They all take advanced training courses and they  receive four to six times the amount of firearms training as Sac PD.”

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Another threat to student safety is gang activity, says City College officer Christian Keister who is trained in gang investigation. Gang members come onto campus and they are responsible for theft, robberies and crimes against women and sometimes children.

“I don’t like gangs,” Keister says. “Something that just really bothers me at a gut level is when people use violence or intimidation to take something from someone.”

One out-of-the-ordinary occurrence required Keister to put his years of training to use. On this day his mission was to eliminate the deadly threat of armed gang members racing through the streets firing their weapons.

It happened about three years ago when Keister arrested a group of gang members who were involved in a drive-by shooting that lead to a high-speed chase.

One of three gang members used a gun to steal a car from his aunt, Keister recalls. The men used this car in a slew of robberies. After they carried out a shooting near Cosumnes River College, the men were chased at 100 mph down Interstate 5 toward City College.

The suspects crashed at Riverside Boulevard and Sutterville Road where Keister caught the driver, the suspected shooter. The scene ended with the arrests of three gang members, ending their rolling crime spree.

While drive-by shootings don’t often infringe upon students’ safety very often, theft does — especially bike theft.

Bike theft is the most common crime on campus, according to officer Jeremy Rogers, a 22-year-old who is a student himself at Sacramento State University.

Rogers says he appreciates students taking a stand against crime on campus.

“We try to be at the scene of a crime fast,” Rogers says. “And we really thank students for reporting crime. Everyone has a cell phone, and a criminal may think that you’re just talking to your friend on the phone. If you see a crime and report it, it really helps everyone out a lot.”

The officers say it helps when the students can relate to each other.

“Crime will prevail when students let fear take over. They might think, ‘Oh, it’s not my purse, or it’s not my backpack. Why should I get involved?’ I’m sure if it was yours, you’d appreciate someone reporting it being stolen,” Rogers says.

Rogers says that students need to look out for each other.

I’m a college student myself. I understand students’ needs; I know their troubles,” Rogers says. “I always ask myself how we can make things better.”

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