Fullerton College has been practicing remote learning since the spring semester due to the coronavirus pandemic. Even though the school is closed, Campus Safety is on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week to maintain peace.
“There are always three Campus Safety officers on duty,” said Campus Safety staff member Officer Daniel Gutierrez, “We keep busy by being proactive, patrolling the areas and securing the buildings.”
Officer Gutierrez admits that he does get lonely guarding a nearly empty school, but there are custodians and some classes that meet in person for whom Campus Safety has to check-in and unlock the building doors. This allows them to have some human interaction during their long shifts.
During food drives, such as the Thanksgiving Food Drive held on November 24th, Campus Safety officers are present to monitor traffic, allowing visitors safe and easy access. The food halls are usually held on campus, either in the cafeteria or in Staff Parking Lot A and 8.
Aside from their general duties, the staff does run into issues from time to time, including vandalism and loitering. Homeless people are sometimes found on school property, but Campus Safety handles these situations with care.
“Because the school is empty some of the homeless do see an opportunity to find a place to hunker down,” said Officer Gutierrez. “Typically, we’ll make contact with them letting them know that the campus is closed and direct them to an armory or homeless shelter.”
Although the campus is fairly empty with a small number of people attending in-person classes, Officer Gutierrez doesn’t get too lonely with his fellow staff around, who he refers to as “family”. He explained that he mainly communicates with his department via walkie-talkies because they are maintaining social distancing.
Officer Gutierrez keeps a positive attitude through these unprecedented times, ending the conversation, “All we can do is just stay positive, hope for the best, and wait for the return of the students.”