By: Emina Preciado and LaShané Overstreet
CSUSB PD officer engages with the community during his patrols. This is in an effort to create a collegial relationship between the Police Department and the CSUSB community. Photo Credit: CSUSB PD Twitter
CSUSB Police Chief, Jeffrey Godown, says his vision is to embark on creating connections and mutual interactions with the CSUSB community, particularly the students Chief Godown revealed this during an interview with the Coyote Chronicle reporters.
“My philosophy is customer-base, meaning that you are my customers; the visitors are customers, students, staff, faculty; everybody on this campus is my customer. Our customers and we serve at the pleasure of everybody on this campus. I think a lot of cops get disconnected because they live in their own little world doing their own thing.”
With that, comes making sure that people are happy with the services provided by the CSUSB police department. Building a sense of community and rapport with the CSUSB population would start by creating an approachable environment and not getting stuck in a “bubble” of power.
According to Chief Godown, he understands the reluctance students might have towards police, he wants to provide services beyond just ensuring the safety of everyone on campus. One of his goals as Chief is for him and his team to build rapport within the CSUSB community and overcome some of the stereotypes that may come with being a police officer, says Godown.
Chief Godown was enthusiastic about speaking to the Chronicle since this was the first time he had been approached by members of the CSUSB student body since his induction in January. He is open to ideas on providing additional services to CSUSB students & staff like self-defense classes and active shooter training and was more than happy to answer any questions or make suggestions. He hopes this will encourage other students and staff to do so in order to bridge the gap between the reluctance people might present when dealing with law enforcement.
Overall campus is safe and the CSUSB PD website provides statistics and reports of crime on campus. When asked about the most common crimes on campus and whether CSUSB is safe Chief Godown elaborated on some recent changes such as the influx of the homeless population, which has resulted in burglaries on campus. One of the recent incidents was a burglary in Arrowhead Village. This isn’t an everyday occurrence and is a result of the vacancy of housing buildings during shorter winter and summer terms. Once the Fall semester resumes, a larger population will be residing on campus. With the influx of students, less crime on campus will be able to occur. Students and staff play more of an important role than they may think, as this puts more eyes and ears on and around campus. This provides more of an opportunity for communication to occur between police staff and students reporting suspicious activity on campus.
Jeffrey Godown was appointed Chief of Police at CSUSB on January 19th of this year. He has over 30 years of experience. Chief Godown, started his career with law enforcement within the LAPD in 1981.
“I was there during the riots, I was there during the earthquakes, the fires, the 1984 Olympics, The OJ trial, I was there for all those things.”
Chief Godown was then brought to the San Francisco PD, and then back to Southern California. Godown has worked with various public figures such as District Attorney George Gascon, and Gavin Newsom (then mayor of San Francisco). Godown acknowledges that the world and the field of law enforcement have changed since he started more than 30 years ago. He understands the bias’ people might have toward someone of influence, specifically in the law enforcement field. Aside from ensuring that students, faculty, and visitors are provided with a safe environment, he described his approach and a responsibility to run things as a “customer base operation.”If you are interested in seeing what other services the CSUSB PD provides on campus check out their website: www.csusb.edu/police/services