SAN BERNARDINO: Cal State police honored

10:00 PM PST on Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Press-Enterprise

A pilot program designed to enhance officers' response toward crime victims has earned the California State University, San Bernardino Police Department national recognition.

The university's Police Department was the only university police department to be recognized for its efforts and was honored with an award from the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the federal Office for Victims of Crime, which falls under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Justice. The department received the award in September.

"We are humbled and honored by this award," said university Police Chief Jimmie Brown.

Brown credited Scott Kovach, the department's support services supervisor, for helping to craft the victim response plan.

"Scott's time and input in the creation of this plan have been invaluable to us," Brown said.

The program, which began in 2007, was intended not only to address crime but to enhance the law enforcement agency's response toward crime victims, who are often already suffering from the physical or mental trauma of being victimized.

Known as the 21st Century Strategy for Enhancing Law Enforcement Response to Victims, the program is a collaborative effort between the university's Police Department and the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

Components of the program include making information more accessible to crime victims and the addition of the department's new Segway Patroller, a motorized, three-wheeled, stand-up unit, which is outfitted with emergency lights and operated by a uniformed officer.

With the Segway Patroller, as opposed to a traditional police cruiser, the officer can make closer contact with the people on campus, thus making the police more accessible to the public and improving service. Informational brochures and victim surveys are given to crime victims, who are also contacted for a follow-up within 10 days of filing a report with the department.

Department policy has been altered to reflect these changes, Kovach said.

Cal State San Bernardino's Police Department is a state law enforcement agency that employs 18 sworn police officers. The department is responsible for the 441-acre north San Bernardino campus with its campus community totaling nearly 20,000 students, faculty and staff.

For more information, call 909-537-5165.

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