University Police Officers Put Training To Use

University Police Officers Put Training To Use
University police investigate the area around Building 94.

After receiving multiple calls reporting the sound of a gunshot Wednesday afternoon near Building 94, the Cal Poly Pomona University Police Department quickly jumped into gear. Within three minutes, police officers were at the scene establishing a perimeter and investigating the situation.

Luckily, it appears the reports were false alarms. The cause of the noise is unknown, but may have been a firecracker or a car backfiring. Regardless, Police Chief Michael Guerin is pleased with the amount of emergency calls made by concerned people.

“We are glad our campus community is taking an active role in keeping the campus safe by calling whenever there is suspicious activity,” Guerin said. “People should never assume someone else has called the police.”

The Police Department received three calls nearly simultaneously at about 2:08 p.m. on Wednesday. The callers reported hearing what they thought to be the sound of a gunshot near Building 94 and Building 1. Several more calls followed in the moments after, police officials said.

Upon receiving the calls, every available police officers responded. Immediately a command post was established and a perimeter set. Building 94, which consists of faculty and staff offices, was searched room by room. As an added precaution, officers also stopped traffic on nearby roads and closed access to the dorms.

Officers soon determined the area to be safe and found no evidence of criminal activity. Normal activity resumed within 45 minutes.

“We have always prepared for emergencies, including of emergencies with a firearm. Since Virginia Tech, we have received more training and updated our procedures,” Guerin said. “Today (Sept. 26) we got to exercise our procedures. We will be holding a debriefing and will continue to update our procedures with today's learning points.”

In the event of an emergency on campus, the Police Department can be reached at  911 from a campus phone or on the business line (909) 869-3070. In California, 911 calls placed by cellphones are handled by the Highway Patrol. The CHP connects calls to the appropriate police or fire agency. However, it may be faster to call the University Police Department directly.

Here are some additional sources of information in the case of a campus emergency:

  • PolyCentric: The Office of Public Affairs aims to notify the campus community as soon as possible on this Web site during emergencies.   
  • (866) 869-POLY:  Call this hotline for a recorded message.   
  • E-mail: Check your account for an announcement.   
  • Campus electronic marquees 
  • University voicemail: If the Internet is down and you have a campus extension, try checking for a voicemail message.   
  • Office of Public Affairs: (909) 869-3342