Universities, community need more cooperation regarding campus security

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By Olga Grigoryants, olga.grigoryants@ langnews.com OlgaGrigory on Twitter

POSTED: 08/01/14, 9:50 PM PDT |

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck opened the Campus Safety Conference Friday calling for greater cooperation between universities and the surrounding community at an event with educators, university security officials, professors, students, and others.

Speaking to a full house at the conference at the Radisson Hotel near USC, Beck emphasized the importance of communication and having a plan in place to keep everyone safe if something happens.

“The big goal is convincing people to take accountability for their own safety,” Beck said at the standing-room only event. “We don’t live in a world of ‘if.’ We live in a world of ‘when.”

The issue of public safety is more relevant than ever, Beck said one week after a 24-year-old USC student was robbed and beaten to death on his way to his apartment near campus.


Earlier this week, four teenagers, including two minors, were arrested and charged in connection with that attack.

In 2012, security measures were tightened around USC campus after two Chinese graduate students were shot and killed in their car. Six months later, a man opened fire into a crowd at a Halloween party on the USC campus. Four were injured.

In April, 21-year-old Brandon Spencer, the defendant in the Halloween case, was convicted of four counts of attempted murder and sentenced to 40 years in prison.

At the conference, Beck said it’s important for the community to be prepared during the time of crisis because “none of us are big enough to put a cop on every corner, not even the Los Angeles Police Department. Nor do we want to live in a community where there’s a cop on every corner,” Beck said.

Four teens were charged last week with murder in the beating of the graduate student with a baseball bat and wrench as he walked to his off-campus apartment after meeting with a study group.