With daylight savings taking place on November 6 and the sun setting an hour earlier, it's important to be aware of your surroundings and keep yourself safe after dark. The recent news of a serial killer in Stockton was just another reminder to stay vigilant.
The CSU Stanislaus campus has a number of safety protocols in place on campus. If you find yourself in danger near one of the many blue light phones on campus, utilize it. It never hurts to call, even if it turns out to be nothing of concern. The university also offers a free Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) course through a partnership with the Turlock Police Department. This is an ongoing prevention and awareness campaign that teaches women how to defend themselves and be more cautious.
Sahira Khan (senior, Liberal Arts), a student at the Stan State Stockton campus was full of anxiety knowing that there was a serial killer in her area.
“I am super terrified and apprehensive to go out and about," Kahn said, "I picked up scantrons from campus during daylight hours and I was still nervous knowing there was someone out there that was harming people."
While the suspected serial killer was taken into custody on Oct. 15, it hasn’t changed the tensions of being out after dark.
The Stockton campus is patrolled by the Stockton Police Department and a private security company. Kahn said officers are always friendly with the students on campus.
“A police officer who scouts the campus would always say hello to me and to have a good night when I would leave campus," Kahn said. "This made me feel more safe and comfortable walking back to my car sometimes because it gave me the peace of mind that they were there if something did happen.”
Lorrie Lucas, a Stockton dispatcher, says it’s important to always get to a safe space that is well lit and if possible, don't walk alone.
“If you think you are being followed on campus, take note of the description of the person such as sex, clothing, stature, height, facial features such as glasses, beard, tattoos, etc.,” Lucas said.
She added that although things can feel scary when it gets dark sooner, the small campus doesn’t get a large number of calls.
“We are a rather small campus so call volume remains low year-round,” she said.
Nationally certified instructor, Cheri Silveira, will be teaching a course for the RAD program that focuses on awareness, prevention, risk reduction, avoidance, and hands-on defense training on Saturday, November 19.
Erika Grace, a crime prevention officer said the Turlock Police Department was excited to partner with the university again for RAD after a three-year absence.
“This course will teach strategies for staying safe when walking at night, during the day, around strangers, and with people you already know,” she said. “It is important to note that statistically, people you already know are more likely to hurt you.”
Stay safe and alert, utilize blue light phones or call UPD at (209) 667-3911 if you feel unsafe on campus. On the Stockton campus, the Stockton Police Department can be reached 24 hours a day by telephone at (209) 937-8377. In addition, private security is provided for the Stockton Campus community during normal business hours. Private security maintains foot patrol across the campus and can be reached during regular business hours at (209) 993-3469 and the inside guard's phone number is (209) 401-6931.