For the past year, most students living north of the University Park Campus have become accustomed to seeing the “yellow jacket” security personnel on their walks to and from campus.
The Contemporary Services Corporation security officers have become a permanent fixture in the USC community, reducing the fear of crime and putting students and community members at ease, said Department of Public Safety Capt. David Carlisle.
Thus far, students, community members and especially parents have given the university positive feedback for initiating this security program, Carlisle said.
“So far, since we’ve had [CSC] in partnership it has been very successful,” he said.
Though the trend of crime in the USC neighborhood has gone down during the past four years, this additional security resource often deters criminals from committing crimes when they see the officers, Carlisle said.
“The CSC officers are particularly effective in reducing the fear of crime,” he said.
According to Carlisle, the university made a decision to bring the CSC security officers to USC last year to provide an additional layer of security, especially for the majority of students who live off campus.
“We wanted a deployment strategy intended to decrease the areas without public safety presence,” Carlisle said.
Though DPS is always patrolling the area, it is impossible for DPS officers to witness every attempted crime, Carlisle said. By working in partnership with CSC, DPS can effectively minimize the potential for crime.
Although the CSC security officers are unarmed and cannot detain criminals, they are directed to inform DPS immediately if they see any suspicious behavior. DPS then steps in and apprehends the suspect if necessary.
The CSC officers patrol the areas from Jefferson to Adams boulevards north of campus.
Gilbert Zenon, an employee at the Los Angeles branch of the CSC, said the main goal of these security officers is to observe and report.
“Our guys are out there as a deterrent,” he said.
Zenon said the officers have witnessed people attempting to steal bikes or purses. In one instance, a CSC officer even stopped a student from being robbed on the street.
Zenon said that over the last year there have not been many criminal instances in which the CSC officers have had to get involved.
“We think we’re getting better and better with more experience,” he said.
Zenon said he hopes students feel more secure seeing the CSC officers in the area.
“We just want to make a positive impact,” he said.
Students said they appreciate seing the CSC officers when they are walking home from campus.
Melissa Wong, a junior majoring in business administration, said she is glad to see them off campus at night.
“I really feel safer when they’re around,” she said.
Wong also said that she would like to continue to see them patrolling the area.
Devin Altschul, a sophomore majoring in print journalism, said her parents appreciated their presence around campus.
“Knowing that they’re there makes me feel more secure and more safe,” she said. “When my parents come to visit, they feel safe knowing that there are people close to me watching over me.”