New officers hired to fill Campus Public Safety openings

Joshua Ensler – News editor.

Linfield College Community Public Safety & Security has hired two new officers, returning to normal staffing levels for the first time since spring 2009.
The new officers, Darrell Pratt and Jacob Blair, filled vacancies left by officer terminations. CPS Chief Robert Cepeda would not say why, citing privacy issues.
He said there was no prompt to hire new officers and that crime was low at Linfield compared with last semester, when Linfield was effectively shut down by a bomb hoax by former student Melissa Davaz.
“We were a position down,” Cepeda said. “It wasn’t a prompting. It was getting back to the staffing levels we were supposed to be at.”
Students haven’t noticed the addition of the new officers, and they find Cepeda to be equal to or better than previous security directors.
“I would rate them extremely high,” junior Stephen Guttridge said.
Guttridge said he did not notice any significant difference, but a few students had positive things to say about the campus security director.
“They’ve gotten better since the new head of security,” junior Clayton Martin said. “He works more with the students. It’s more like he’s not your enemy; he’s there to stop chaos at the school.”
Martin said that while the school did not seem any safer or more secure because of Cepeda, the new chief of security seemed more competent than his predecessors, Mike Dressel and William Curtin.
“He sends out warnings for stuff around town, which I don’t think the previous guy did,” Martin said.
Senior Wyatt Lee also spoke positively of Cepeda.
“I think he has a good idea of understanding the students,” he said. “He listens to [student’s] opinion, and listens to their concerns.”

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