San Diego Community College Police Chief Raymund Aguirre presented to students, faculty and board members on Monday about his plans as potential chief of the University Police Department.
For the last four years, Aguirre has supervised San Diego Community College, a collection of 10 campuses with an enrollment of 130,000 students, the second largest community college in California.
Aguirre spoke in Mihaylo Hall and student housing to introduce himself to students and address their concerns.
“I think this campus is better prepared than a lot of other campuses I am familiar with, and that’s a testament to the professionalism of the University Police and the openness and willingness of the staff and faculty,” Aguirre said.
He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a master’s degree in public and international affairs and an advanced certificate in Asian studies before beginning his career as a police officer at the Palo Alto Police Department.
In light of Milo Yiannopoulos’ visit to CSUF on Oct. 31, Aguirre established his plans to deal with turmoil and protest, should more controversial speakers come in the future.
“The primary objective is to ensure peace and order and safety among all members of the community who are attending that event,” Aguirre said. “We respect freedom of speech. Obviously, we have to prepare for contingencies in case there are certain elements that decide to disrupt those events if they become violent. We wouldn’t be fulfilling our role as public safety if we didn’t take that into consideration.”
Aguirre also spoke on the University Police Department’s active-shooter strategies.
“Knowing what I know, I think that the men and women of the University Police and the training they put out with ‘Run. Hide. Fight.’ is excellent,” Aguirre said, referring to Cal State Fullerton’s shelter in place strategy being made standard on campus.
Following his presentation, Aguirre addressed questions and concerns from the audience.
“I just thought it’s great to be a part of this as a student. We have the opportunity to make a decision in someone who has such an important role on campus,” said senior international business major Elizabeth Rutherford. “I thought he was really good. I really liked his background. He has experience with other college campuses and a large campus. I also like his cultural diversity experience.”
Aguirre said his current plan, if hired as University Police chief, would focus on establishing a greater relationship between students and the police.
“What’s key is reaching out to the campus community, staff, faculty and especially students, and making them comfortable with broaching issues,” Aguirre said.