On Tuesday, April 5, CSUSM celebrated the opening of its new Public Safety Building, located on the northeast edge of campus near the Sprinter station, with a ceremonial “police tape” ribbon cutting. The state-of-the-art 13,000 square-foot building brings under one roof Parking and Commuter Services, Emergency Management, and the University Police Department (UPD), creating new efficiencies and opportunities for collaboration and synergy.

At the grand opening event, President Haynes touted the diligence and efforts of both the UPD and campus for ensuring the safety of CSUSM. She explained that in 2009, Cal State San Marcos had the fifth lowest crime rate in the 23 campus CSU system. And, while systemwide statistics won’t officially be available until June, she went on to share that in 2010 crime rates dropped an astonishing 57 percent at CSUSM.

“Campus safety is a shared responsibility and one that our campus takes seriously,” said Chief Ron Hackenberg. “The key to our success is that people do speak up when they see suspicious behavior. It is one thing to try to avoid the police officers on campus, but it’s much more difficult to avoid the thousands of eyes and ears of our students, staff, and faculty.”

Moving from the old 1,700 square-foot center to the new Public Safety Building across the street, the UPD expanded their space sevenfold. The modern station now includes three secure temporary holding cells for juveniles and adults, a soft interview room for victims, an interrogation room complete with a one-way mirror and capability for video recording, and an evidence storage room that will meet the needs of the force for the next 20 years. A new onsite Live scan machine will also help speed up the processing of detainees. In the event of a disaster, the new building is equipped to be an emergency operation center with a full-service kitchen, available showers, a shared common space, and a backup generator that can power the entire building for up to five days without refueling.

By adding those new features, the state-of-art building and amenities will significantly aid the efforts of the UPD’s next goal of becoming accredited by the Commission on the Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies, a distinction that is earned by less than one percent of university campuses nationwide.

“Our department has been working professionally for a long time, and it is nice to finally have a space that mirrors that professionalism,” said Chief Hackenberg.

Focused on sustainability and efficiency, the Public Safety Building also earned the status as a gold level building from the U.S. Green Builders Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system, which evaluates the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings.

To construct the 13,000-square-foot structure, over 20 percent of the materials used were manufactured, extracted, and processed within a 500-mile radius of the site, lessening a potentially large negative environmental impact from transporting materials over long distances. Attesting to its energy efficiency, the building’s eco-friendly design and construction will continue to save vital resources upwards of 42 percent annually as a result of photovoltaic cells installed on the roof, efficient lighting systems, and highly insulated features throughout the building.

“As we continue to strive to be an example of a best practice in university policing, this new building will provide the resources and space for us to meet our full potential,” added President Haynes.

Tours of the new Public Safety Building are available on request by calling (760) 750-7500.

“Campus safety is a shared responsibility and one that our campus takes seriously,” said Chief Ron Hackenberg.