Walking in their shoes: A day in the life of DSU’s campus police

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Campus police: we see them walking and driving around campus on a daily basis, but what exactly do campus security officers do at Dixie State University?

Tasha Brothers, a junior elementary education major from West Valley City, said she never sees security on campus, and it makes her wonder if they are even there. Ron Isaacson, the assistant director of public safety at DSU, said even though you don’t always see officers on campus, they are patrolling and available to help students any time of the day.

Isaacson said, although the officers on campus are working 24/7 to ensure the safety of the university’s students, faculty and staff, most of the interesting calls happen at night, explaining why some students don’t see the officers as much throughout the day. Night shifts typically run from 5 p.m. to 3 a.m.

5 p.m.-10 p.m.

Ola Kaonohi, a DSU police officer, said the first part of a night shift is pretty similar to what officers on campus do during the day. When working the night shift Kaonohi will spend these first five hours cycling through the buildings on campus and patrolling around the grounds, focusing on places with higher foot traffic like the Gardner Center or the Jeffrey R. Holland Centennial Commons.

Kaonohi also said the campus police officers will often take turns patrolling in their vehicles in order to work areas of higher traffic. Kaonohi said a common place they patrol is on the corner of 400 South and 900 East because students often run the stop sign there.

10 p.m.-3 a.m.

After 10 p.m. things tend to calm down as far as on campus activity, so this is when the officers will go around and check on student housing. Kaonohi said whoever is on campus patrolling will go around and make sure the housing on campus is secure and there are no disturbances, while St. George City police officers will patrol around and check off-campus housing for anything out of the ordinary.

Kaonohi also said this is when campus police are most likely to respond to dispatch calls regarding trespassing, drugs or theft that come through.

Drug responses

Kaonohi said the most common calls they respond to are drug related. He said most are from students calling in about the smell or sight of marijuana either on campus or at their housing complexes.

As far as reprimanding students who are caught smoking or carrying weed, Kaonohi said it all depends on the situation. For students who just smell like weed or have a minimal amount of marijuana in their possession, the officers are likely to confiscate the substance and write the students a citation; however, for those carrying larger amounts of contraband, or those caught actually smoking the substance, arrests will likely be made.

Officer Kaonohi wanted to stress that the police officers on campus are here to help students and make the campus as safe a place as possible for everyone. He said the officers are connected with St. George’s police dispatch, so it’s easy for students to call in and campus police to respond.

 “You have officers who are out there, and if you see or hear something, call dispatch,” Kaonohi said. “If you are in immediate danger call 911, but if you see something and you aren’t sure, it’s OK to just call dispatch. We’re here to help.”