Campus & Community Safety

The Board of Trustees of the Santa Monica Community College District has established a “Community College Police Department”—known as the SMC Police Department, and generally referred to as Campus Police—to protect the members of the College community and the property of the District.

Santa Monica College is committed to providing a safe and secure campus environment for students, faculty, staff, and visitors. College facilities are regularly patrolled 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by members of the SMC Police Department. SMC students are employed to work as Police Aides and, during evening hours, to accompany students and staff who request an escort to and from on-campus facilities. Abundant lighting is provided at all Santa Monica College campuses and parking lots.

The College also employs parking enforcement officers with training specific to parking enforcement and emergencies. Parking enforcement officers are not Peace Officers.

If you spot anyone suspicious, call Campus Police at (310) 434-4300, (or dial ext. 4300 from campus phones), or use a campus emergency phone to seek help.

Santa Monica College works closely with local law enforcement agencies having dual jurisdiction for criminal matters. The College can request assistance for incidents that require resources not available to the SMC Police Department.

SMC Police Department (Campus Police)

Under the general direction of the Chief of Police, the SMC Police Department ensures that reasonable protection is provided to members of the College community and the property of the Santa Monica Community College District by using methods that fit within and contribute to the educational philosophy and process of the College.

The SMC Police Department and its officers comply with the selection and training requirements of California Penal Code §13522. Campus Police officers receive the same training as municipal police officers or county deputy sheriffs, and they have Peace Officer authority under California Penal Code §830.32a and California Education Code §72330.

The SMC Police Department receives reports for all incidents occurring on SMC campuses and is responsible for investigating all campus crime. For services the SMC Police Department provides, see the Campus Police listing in the Programs & Services section of this catalog, or visit the SMC Police Department website (www.smc.edu/police).

Campus Police would like to remind all students, faculty, staff, and visitors at Santa Monica College that—no matter where you are— common sense goes a long way in preventing the possibility of becoming a crime victim. The following safety tips should be kept in mind at all times:

Protecting Your Personal Property

   •   Always secure your purse or backpack; never leave belongings unattended.

   •   Park in well-lighted areas away from shrubbery and other obstructions. Lock your vehicle, and take your keys with you. Make sure your car’s window vents are secure. Put valuables in the trunk or out of sight.

   •   Always have your keys ready before reaching your car. Before you enter your car, check the back seat. If you spot anyone suspicious, call Campus Police at (310) 434-4300, or use a campus emergency phone to seek help.

   •   To prevent car theft, consider using an ignition bypass switch or a steering wheel locking device. Car alarms are not recommended because they are often activated accidentally. If an unattended alarm goes off while your car is in a campus parking area, your car can be towed and impounded immediately. On the city streets, your car can be towed within 15 minutes. If your car is towed, you will have to pay a fee to reclaim it.

Making Yourself Less Vulnerable

   •   Attackers prefer passive victims. Project a positive, assertive body language. Know where you are going, and walk confidently. Take a good look at people around you and passing alongside you. Be alert.

   •   At night, walk with a friend or in a group, or use the campus escort service. To request an escort, call Campus Police.

   •   Choose well-lighted, well-traveled streets and walkways. If followed, walk or run to a safe place. Avoid isolated and poorly lighted areas. If you must walk alone, be alert and aware of your surroundings. If you sense a dangerous situation, avoid it or leave it.

   •   Never hitchhike or accept a ride from a stranger. Never give a ride to a stranger or casual acquaintance. If you use a bus, sit near the driver. Know your schedule in advance. Use well-lighted and well-used bus stops.

   •   If you walk or bike regularly to campus, choose well-lighted and populated areas. Vary your routes so that you are not predictable. Be aware of businesses that are open and other potentially safe places.

Bicycles, Motorcycles, Mopeds, Skateboards, & Skates

In the interests of campus security, safety, and noise control:

   1.   Bicycles, motorcycles, and mopeds must be parked in designated areas.

   2.   Bicycles parked outside the designated areas may not be parked in any area that would interfere with pedestrian safety, handicapped access, or the performance of duties by the College’s gardeners and/or custodians.

   3.   Bicycles, motorcycles, and mopeds may not be taken inside of buildings. Bicycles secured improperly are subject to impound by Campus Police.

   4.   Riding motorcycles, mopeds, and bicycles on pedestrian walkways is strictly prohibited.

   5.   The use of skateboards, roller skates, and roller blades is prohibited on campus.

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