Intelligence Operations Center now being utilized by Campus Police Authority
By Lauren Lukens
In recent national news, there has been an increase in crime on college campuses, such as shootings, rape and destruction of property. After the purchase, renovation and grand opening of the Jeffress Center, Schoolcraft College has substantially improved across the board, and Campus Police Authority is now able to more effectively locate, solve and prevent crime on campus.
Last December, departments gradually began moving their offices to the Jeffress Center, with Campus Police Authority being the last to relocate. In the lower level of the building, an Intelligence Operations Center was added, which is part of enterprise-wide security equipment upgrades.
“This is the first tow in the water with this new technology, and it seems to be working very well,” said Steven Kaufman, Chief of Campus Police Authority.
The Intelligence Operations Center is equipped with 11 monitors mounted on the wall, computers, cameras and more—something that has never been done at a college or university in Michigan. Several weeks ago, Lieutenant Mark Engstrom, along with three Intelligence Operations Center technicians, moved to the new space.
“This was a major investment for the college—not only hiring three employees with the possibility of hiring more in the future, but all of the technology and infrastructure in the building,” said Engstrom. “It’s really Schoolcraft going above and beyond for the satisfaction of our customer, the students, faculty and staff.”
By the end of fall semester, it is expected that the Center will be fully functioning and the prime location of Schoolcraft’s Campus Police Authority. Currently, Campus Police Authority operates in the facilities building next to the north parking lot.
“Whenever something happens, we go back and look at a recorded video to find out how things happened, who perpetrated it and things like that,” said Kaufman. “With old technology, the quality of the video has not been very good compared to the new technology with very clear, high definition cameras that allow us to see things a lot better.”
Due to the new equipment, Kaufman said, “Maybe it’s in the Lower Waterman and somebody throws a pool ball, there’s a fight in the gaming center down there or a cell phone is stolen off a table. We are able to pick these things up now as they are happening. Instead of just getting a phone call and being reactive, we can be a little more proactive.”
The Intelligence Operations Center technicians assist 10 full-time and 10 part-time Campus Police Authority, 18 of whom are former police officers with thousands of hours of experience, by monitoring the surveillance cameras located around campus. The technicians also address problems occurring on social media related to Schoolcraft.
Schoolcraft’s crime rates are allegedly very low, usually having zeroes across the board in the annually published security report.
“The Clery Act crime categories does not encompass every crime that occurs—only the more serious crimes. For example, larcenies are not covered and colleges and universities across the county do not need to publish all crimes, just those Clery crimes,” said Kaufman. “We have a good amount of larcenies like any college or university has, like when someone puts down a cell phone and someone else takes it, but when you compare us to a college or university with residential housing, we do not have near the crime as the bigger college.”
The technology updates in the Intelligence Operations Center will enforce the continued safety of Schoolcraft students, faculty and staff, and Campus Police Authority hope to decrease larcenies and other reoccurring crimes on campus.
“I have worked on campus for 20 years and have always felt safe. It is good to know that safety of students and staff is a high priority for Schoolcraft,” said Elizabeth Machniak, Administrative Assistant in the Student Activities Office. “Security updates, such as video cameras and a greater, more visible presence of officers on campus, give me a feeling of security. I can feel confident that, if a problem should arise, it will be taken care of quickly.”
Those who are uneasy about recent events in the news have nothing to worry about—Campus Police Authority protects Schoolcraft 24 hours every day year-round.
“It makes me feel really safe that police are always there when we need them,” said Reneh Araj, Schoolcraft sophomore.
Improvements offered by the Jeffress Center will ensure the safety of students, faculty and staff for years to come.
For emergency procedures and to view the latest security report, go to
http://www. schoolcraft.edu/a-z-index/campus-police-authority/. If an accident occurs at Schoolcraft at any time, one can call 734-462-4424 or 4424 from any campus phone.