If students feel confident walking the Allan Hancock College campus there is a reason why: It was listed the seventh safest campus in the U.S. by homeinsurance.com. The college got the ranking because of its zero instances of violent crimes and a walkability score of 48.
Homeinsurance.com looked at more than 400 colleges and universities and assigned each a score for violent crime, property crime, and walkability.
John Staugaard, interim chief of police for the Hancock College district police department said he thought maybe it was listed seventh in the state but he was surprised that it ranked that way compared to schools throughout the nation. He credited the school’s safety record to having everyone on board with keeping it safe.
“We rely heavily on faculty and staff and students—everybody has to do their part in keeping this a safe campus,” he said.
He said the maintenance staff has access to the police department and is trained to be alert to crime.
“We really rely on the maintenance staff to be our eyes and ears and report to us suspicious activities,” he said.
He said the department holds orientations for new personnel to make sure everyone knows how to be safe and report crime.
The school is getting on board with adding camera systems, and it has its RAVE alert system that students, staff, and faculty can sign up for to get alerts about emergencies or crimes on campus.
Though the school has a low violent crime rate it does have its share of thefts. He said in general there are about 30 or so cases of theft a semester. He said criminals look in cars for visible items like purses, phones, and laptops. They will either enter through an unlocked door or else break a window to steal items from cars. There have even been instances of thieves breaking into a car’s trunk because they watched the driver put something valuable in there, Staugaard said. Bikes are another popular item to steal, but with the campus camera system, police have been able to solve a few of those thefts.
“Unfortunately, people still leave purses, laptops, and phones visible in the passenger seat,” he said.
He said the Lompoc campus, of which his department has jurisdiction, has even fewer crimes.