During the Oct. 20 Board of Regents meeting, the Regents discussed enrollment status and finances, but security was Del Mar College President Mark Escamilla’s main concern.
Escamilla said he is looking to create a new position, chief of security. This position would be in charge of creating an on-campus police force.
“Currently, we have four CCPD officers on DMC campus. The only problem is when something happens off campus, the officers have a duty to take care of it,” Escamilla said. “I would like to create the on-campus police force so the campus is never vulnerable if the CCPD officers have to leave.”
According to Escamilla, day-to-day safety on all DMC property is the college’s No. 1 priority.
“The backfiring of a truck a few weeks ago sent a chill throughout the campus,” Escamilla said. “Our security may be good, but I am never satisfied when it comes to safety.”
There were two security scares in October. The first, on Oct. 1, involved a man threatening his ex-girlfriend and the East Campus. The suspect was later apprehended at an off-campus residence.
The second security scare occurred Oct. 5. There was a 911 call from East Campus with concerns of gunshots on campus. Nearly 30 Corpus Christi police officers responded to the call. It was later resolved that it was a backfiring truck on the corner of Baldwin and Ayers.
According to Escamilla, there are current legal protocols that the college must follow to get the police force off the ground. The first step is hiring a chief of security.
Officers respond to false alarm on East Campus in October. President Mark Escamilla hopes to create a new position, chief of security, that would be in charge of creating an on-campus police force.
The chief of security will be in charge of providing expertise in security and in building the on-campus police force.
“DMC is too large to not have a police force,” Escamilla said. “There are so many intricacies to an institution of this size. We are one of the few community colleges that don’t have a police force.”
Austin Community College, Houston Community College and Dallas Community College all maintain an on-campus police force.
Escamilla will be holding an employee meeting on Nov. 13 in Richardson Performance Hall on East Campus to further discuss security measures. A later date will be scheduled for a meeting with students.
“We are a very safe campus in general, but there are some factors that will come into play that I am concerned about,” Escamilla said. “Guns on campus is one of my concerns, but also the confusion from now until then. There is always the possibility of random acts of crime, but that is my worst case scenario.”
The Texas Legislature approved a bill allowing individuals with a concealed handgun license to carry guns on a community college campus starting on Aug. 1, 2017.
Escamilla hopes to have the chief of security positioned filled by this spring semester, so building of the force can begin.