While driving in his police vehicle, University Police Officer Jason Miller pointed out an alley in Placentia where he said he responded to a call of shots fired.
Miller said he found the victim who eventually died in his arms.
A University Police officer’s day can change in an instant by dealing with a variety of situations, such as shootings and making arrests.
Miller stopped a man for riding his bicycle while wearing headphones, and after calling in his information, found out he had felony warrants for his arrest.
The man was searched, handcuffed, placed in the squad car and transported to the holding cells on campus where he was booked and waited to be transferred to Orange County jail in Santa Ana.
Although Miller spends a lot of his time patrolling in his police car, he makes sure to do foot patrols through campus as well.
While walking through the Association for InterCultural Awareness festival, he talked to current Associated Students Inc. President Rohullah Latif.
By making his presence known at the festival, Miller created a deterrent to crime by letting people know police were in the area.
“I would like to think when you get out on foot … you create a sense where (people) can approach you,” he said. “You’re in amongst them.”
Miller said he makes sure to find a balance between being on the Cal State Fullerton campus as well as patrolling areas off campus.
“Knowing that some of our students, a good majority of them, live in the surrounding neighborhoods, I know in talking to other officers from other agencies that they are victims of crimes,” he said.
He said the biggest difference between being a Fullerton police officer and an officer with the University Police on campus is the frequency of calls.
With over 38,000 students attending Cal State Fullerton, plus faculty and staff, the school makes use of its police force.
There were a total of 28,900 officer initiated incidents last year, which lead to 526 arrests that were made by campus police officers, according to the University Police website.
The campus also houses a state-of-the-art dispatch center. Any call from a hardwired phone on campus gets directed to the dispatch center, as do all calls from cellphones anywhere in the area.
University Police Capt. John Brockie said when the school had the chance to implement the wireless system, it did so all wireless 911 calls near the school would go their dispatch center.
Miller said making a proactive environment when it comes to police works helps to create a deterrent for criminals. This is why he patrols areas off campus: to let people know the University Police force is out there.
Although University Police officers make their presence known on and off campus, their goal is to protect people.
Miller noticed a car with no front license plate while out on patrol. He made a U-turn in the middle of the street and turned on the patrol car’s lights to let the driver know to pull over.
While pursuing the car, he noticed one of the car’s taillights was not working.
After talking to the driver, Miller learned he had prior legal trouble, including a felony conviction. He ultimately let the driver off with a warning and advised him to get the taillight looked at.
University Police perform many tasks to protect the campus, but some students may not know the difference between them and other state police officers.
Brockie said one of the biggest misconceptions about the department is their police powers.
“We have the same academy requirements, we have the same continued training requirements, we have the same police powers as any other police officer in California,” he said.
Miller said he wants students to know the University Police care about CSUF students and has their best interests in mind.
“We do work hard in trying to protect them,” he said. “We take our job very seriously and we are here for them.”