Friday, February 17, 2012

Stop Kicking the Door Opener

KVH has just sent out an e-mail highlighting the perils of going to school in a building that's open to the public. The e-mail in its entirety is included at the bottom. I don't mean to trivialize the serious safety concerns that students face, but I did want to point out my favorite parts of this e-mail.
UCPD has been working with us to locate a person who has been staying in the building overnight. He has surprised both staff and students who have been in the building early in the morning. He appears to have severe mental health issues. He is about 5' 10" with a thin build, perhaps in his 30s. He has medium brown skin, short dread locks, and facial hair. He typically wears light gray sweat pants and sweat shirt and light colored running shoes with reflectors that are laced with the tongues hanging out. He has significant body odor.
How hard can it be to track down a guy who has significant body odor?
If this person (or anyone else whom you have concerns about) is just wandering around the building you should call UCPD dispatch at 510 642-6760 (or 2-6760 from a campus landline). If, however, he is causing a disturbance, or appears to be a threat to himself or others, then call 911 from a landline phone OR call 510 642-3333 from a cell phone. UCPD strongly prefers that the person who observes an incident call UCPD (rather than your reporting the incident to law school staff first) because they need to get your direct observations. But we would also appreciate it if you emailed Director of Operations GAR Russ*ll <gar at law dot berkeley> or me, so we are aware of any problems.
Because remembering which phone number to call is easier than finding a CSO. Or Mindi.
[W]e ask that if you are entering the cafe or commons from the east and west courtyards that you DO NOT use the disabled access buttons unless you are in a wheelchair or otherwise disabled. When you use the automatic opener the door remains open for a full 15 seconds (enough time for a wheelchair to enter). Unauthorized people are entering the building without a key card in the evening and on weekends this way. The other reason we ask you not to use the disabled access buttons is that many of you are kicking the opener button too hard.
My bad.

----


Original E-mail

We've had a few of security incidents that required assistance from UCPD in the last few days. I wanted to let you know about them and remind you of how to respond. In addition, please review UCPD's website about safety on the UCB campus.

UCPD has been working with us to locate a person who has been staying in the building overnight. He has surprised both staff and students who have been in the building early in the morning. He appears to have severe mental health issues. He is about 5' 10" with a thin build, perhaps in his 30s. He has medium brown skin, short dread locks, and facial hair. He typically wears light gray sweat pants and sweat shirt and light colored running shoes with reflectors that are laced with the tongues hanging out. He has significant body odor. When people look at him or speak to him he often becomes agitated, as well as verbally abusive and (on one known occasion) physically aggressive. If you talk to him or get in his path he may yell and use hostile language.

UCPD advises that you do not engage in conversation. Instead, walk away from him and when you get to a safe place call UCPD immediately. Be prepared to describe his location, give a physical description, and a description of his behavior. If this person (or anyone else whom you have concerns about) is just wandering around the building you should call UCPD dispatch at 510 642-6760 (or 2-6760 from a campus landline). If, however, he is causing a disturbance, or appears to be a threat to himself or others, then call 911 from a landline phone OR call 510 642-3333 from a cell phone. UCPD strongly prefers that the person who observes an incident call UCPD (rather than your reporting the incident to law school staff first) because they need to get your direct observations. But we would also appreciate it if you emailed Director of Operations GAR Russ*ll <gar at law dot berkeley> or me, so we are aware of any problems.

We also had two other incidents that required UCPD response. Both occurred late Wednesday afternoon. One involved a man who was stopping law students in the hallway, apparently trying to get legal assistance. When students declined to talk to him he refused to leave and aggressively pursued some students down the hallways and into the cafe. This person was approximately 45-50 years old, over 6 feet tall, with pale, white skin, and longish brown hair that was mostly covered by a black, derby hat. He wore somewhat colorful clothing and carried a large, yellow walking stick. Police officers explained to the man that he could not get immediate legal assistance from law students attending classes. He resisted leaving but after about 30 minutes he agreed to exit the building.

The other incident involved a person who seemed to be having mental health or drug reaction issues. He asked a student for help in getting food and books. When she tried to assist him he became increasingly agitated and engaged in inappropriate physical contact with the student. She immediately reported the incident to the library's CSO who was duty near the cafe elevator and he radioed for support. UCPD responded quickly and called paramedics. The man was transported to a hospital for observation. We do not have a detailed description of this person, other than that he was a young, thin, (perhaps Asian) male.

As always, we are concerned for your safety and well being. We would prefer that students (and staff) did not use the building after the library closes, but understand that sometimes you need to be here doing journal or other work in the Student Center or your offices. Please take care not to leave doors open or to let people who are not known to you into the building. And be aware of your surroundings.

Finally, we ask that if you are entering the cafe or commons from the east and west courtyards that you DO NOT use the disabled access buttons unless you are in a wheelchair or otherwise disabled. When you use the automatic opener the door remains open for a full 15 seconds (enough time for a wheelchair to enter). Unauthorized people are entering the building without a key card in the evening and on weekends this way. The other reason we ask you not to use the disabled access buttons is that many of you are kicking the opener button too hard. This is causing the mechanism to stick, leaving the door entirely open.

Thanks for your cooperation and have a good and safe holiday weekend.

8 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This email made me feel incredibly unsafe. I can't always avoid being alone late at school. What's the school going to do to avoid another 3 assaults next week?

2/17/2012 7:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are we operating a law school or homeless shelter? I'm glad I'm paying extra tuition to fancy new housing for the less fortunate, but how much do we have to pay to make safety a top priority?

Glad the admin is blaming the students for keeping doors open when the real problem is the school refuses to kick people out who obviously have no business at the school and these people then decide to stay overnight.

2/17/2012 8:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

really? the school refuses to kick people out? When is this? There are ID checkers everywhere you turn after 5pm! I'm not sure how the email, which makes people more aware of situations around them, can make you feel more unsafe unless you are abdicating all responsibility for your own safety. Just because you walk into a building doesn't mean you no longer have an obligation to be aware of what's going on around you. The law school isn't your house and people will do crazy things, that's just the world we live in. I think the precautions they take are perfectly reasonable, if not a bit over the top as compared to places I have worked. I think people need to remember that they have the ability to protect themselves as well, and Boalt has given us plenty of tools to do that very successfully, in combination with their safety measures.

2/19/2012 4:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

calling all white male students of athletic build. Please join the GUN CLUB as we organize periodic patrols of Boalt after hours. Don't worry, we can fit in more fun ice pranks while we're working :)
- the GUN CLUB

2/21/2012 5:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anonymous tip: do an investigative report on that one white couple that's always making out in the west reading room

2/26/2012 5:08 PM  
Blogger James said...

And shit's gotten weirdly racist.

2/27/2012 9:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://overheardatboalt.tumblr.com/

3/01/2012 7:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome to 6 years ago. Also, there are only two entries and they're both lame.

3/02/2012 7:40 AM  

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