By: Shabaz Kazia, Staff Writer
Valley Colleges Sheriff’s department has issued flyers across campus that outlines precautionary measures to help students stay safe. The flyers were issued in response to an incident that took place on April 5, when a Hispanic male exposed himself to a female East Los Angeles Community College Student.
The alleged suspect was identified as a male in his mid-20, 5, 09″ and approximately 160 pounds. He was further described as wearing a white t – shit, having facial hair and a ponytail. Since the case in mention is currently under investigation, detailed information is being withheld.
This being at least the second case reported this year in the LACCD district, Valley Sheriff’s department is making sure to keep students and faculty informed as a precautionary measure. Strategies include avoiding dark areas, having the sheriff’s department on speed dial and traveling in pairs. The precautionary steps outlined in the flyers posted across Valley hopefully will help increase student safety.
“I always make sure I’m with other people during the late hours” said communications major Antoinette Alles. “I’m also aware of how to contact campus security if anything arises.”
On February of 2013, Pierce College also had an episode when a female student’s car had broken down in one of the campuses parking lots. She was sexually assaulted by the technician who came to fix her car.
Events like this are raising questions of security on LACCD campuses. According to the Sheriff’s department last year, a female student suffered from sexual battery while waiting at the Orange Line Metro Station across from Valley.
Security concerns are not only focused on Valley’s campus but even adjacent areas like the Orange Line that is heavily trafficked with students. The suspect from the Orange line incident was a Hispanic Male, around 5’08, 180 pounds with hazel eyes and shaved head was allegedly seen at the Fireside Room at Valley on March 26 of last year.
These string of incidents at Valley and Pierce College are the ones that have been reported which leaves to question how many cases have gone unnoticed. According to CNN, a federal investigation is under way that is trying to uncover if 55 college campuses were handling sexual harassment and violence cases appropriately across the country.
“Students should report any incident on campus” said Alma Johnson-Hawkins Interim Valley College President. “Even if you think it’s small and insignificant, and if you feel it compromises safety to the student or classmate it must be reported”
Johnson-Hawkins assures us that our sheriff’s department is very responsive and effective at protecting Valley’s campus. She also believes that Valley has the safest campus in the LACCD district.
If students have any concerns or questions regarding campus security, contact the LAVC Sheriff’s Department at (818) 947-2911.