September 26, 2012
Tremendous emphasis is put on campus safety at WesternU. In addition to being patrolled 24 hours a day by Imperial Security, we have an excellent relationship with the Pomona Police Department, which conducts safety seminars on campus, in addition to being our guests for its own continuing education and training workshops. Our campus borders are checked regularly by the Downtown Pomona Owners Association's security firm; the parking lots around our campus are patrolled by Pomona Police; and Imperial provides a nighttime escort for students to their cars and elsewhere on campus.
Nevertheless, despite all reasonable safeguards, bad things sometimes happen. On the evening of Sunday, September 23, a shooting incident five blocks south of campus - near Seventh and Eleanor streets - resulted in two bullets becoming lodged in two windows of our Health Education Center. WesternU was not the intended target of this incident, but about 20 students were in the HEC at the time, so it was locked down while Security and WesternU staff sought information. The HEC was taken out of lockdown about 20 minutes later, and was evacuated as a precaution.
While bad things happen that fall outside our ability to control, our response to such incidents is something we can address. The University's response to Sunday's incident is being evaluated for areas of improvement, particularly in communicating events as we know them to involved students and staff as quickly as possible. Our security team and Pomona Police also met with students during a Town Hall meeting Monday night to take feedback about the incident; this will be used in our response evaluation and our emergency planning going forward. I appreciate the participation and suggestions of everyone who took part.
Although any criminal incident is troubling, such episodes are fairly rare on and/or immediately near the WesternU campus. When they do occur, the University's security staffing and protocols receive special focus. We will continue to work with WesternU's Student Government Association to make sure students' concerns are thoroughly addressed, and with the Pomona Police Department to ensure that our campus is as safe as humanly possible for our students, staff, and visitors. It is one of our preeminent concerns and responsibilities.
As always, I welcome your feedback on this topic and any others as we discuss WesternU's Benchmarks of Value, and our plans. Please e-mail me with your thoughts at email@example.com, and feel free to share this message with your family and friends.
All the best,