Students hired to watch high crime areas
For years now, the CU Police Department has kept an eye on the campus through department-employed student community service aids.
Police reports that file into the station every day are monitored by officers who look for patterns in crime activity. When a pattern in crime emerges, the police assign community service aids to monitor the area from a nearby stakeout location.
“The way the campus is laid out, there’s usually a nearby conference room or office with a great view,” Cmdr. Brad Wiesley said. “We’ll ask whomever’s office it is if they mind if we use it for a stakeout from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. Usually they’ll say ‘sure.'”
Equipped with a pair of binoculars and a radio, a community service aid — a student — who has been trained extensively for the stakeout will monitor the area. If the student sees something, he or she will call it into the station, and officers will be deployed to the scene.
Police and community service aids both contend that this is a highly effective procedure. David Haukeness, a community service aid who has been working with the department for more than three years, has ventured out on over 40 stakeouts.
“The first shift I did when I was training, there was an attempted auto theft that ended in an arrest,” Haukeness said.
Since then he has seen several criminals taken into custody while on stakeout, along with some other interesting things.
“You see people playing tag in the parking lot, tossing glowing frisbees around as well as a whole slew of intoxicated students doing random and amusing things,” Haukeness said.
Students who apply for community service aid positions undergo background checks, which are standard for law enforcement. Once these clear, they are trained in their duties and sent to campus.
“I think it’s great,” said junior Emilia Brown, an international affairs major.
But Brown said it would take a lot for her to become a community service aid.
“They’d have to throw me a lot of money, to cover the cost of having to stay up all night.”
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Andrew Frankel at firstname.lastname@example.org