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Frequently Asked Questions

The purpose of this page is to answer frequently asked questions of the University Police Department.  This page will be periodically updated with new questions and answers. You can submit any questions to the department by email to

For Frequently Asked Questions regarding traffic court and traffic citations please go to the San Diego Superior Courts website.

Thank you.

What is a "CSO"?

The Community Service Officer program is an extension of the University Police department. Community Service Officers (CSO) are students who work part-time to provide needed services for the university community.  The program is proactive and community service based.  CSO's perform a variety of duties, which include, but are not limited to, the following: building lock-ups and unlocks, telephone and light checks, crime prevention, security for special events, and traffic control. 

DEPARTMENT:  CSUSM University Police
WORKING TITLE:  Community Service Officer
TELEPHONE:  760-750-7500
DEPT. CONTACT:  Carlos Carrillo is the department's point of contact for the CSO program, he can be contacted by email at

What is a "ride-along"?

The University Police offer interested individuals the opportunity to accompany a police officer in the field to observe the patrol activities of the campus and immediate surrounding areas and is called a "ride-along".  This program is offered to better familiarize the University and local communities to the law enforcement function, and to allow those considering a career in law enforcement to better inform themselves on their personal career options. If you are interested in participating in the University Police Ride Along Program, please contact Sergeant Herman Hernandez at (760)750-4567 to schedule your visit.

I need to work on a class project in the evenings, how do I get into a room?

In order to access a room after hours you must be on an Access Authorization Form that is signed and submitted by an authorized faculty or staff member.   A signed Access Authorization Form must be on file in dispatch before the door will be unlocked for you. This will be verified by the dispatcher, (760)750-4567.  If you have authorization a CSO or Officer will be dispatched to unlock the door.  Be prepared to present a picture I.D. to the responding officer.  You must vacate the room when authorization ends.  You should ensure that the door is locked behind you.  If you need assistance call the dispatcher at ext. 4567.  Do not allow unauthorized persons access to the room as you will be responsible for any damage that may occur.

What should I do if I am stopped by the police?

If you are stopped on the street:

  • Be helpful and responsive.

If you are stopped in a car:

  • Slow down; pull over and stop when it is safe to do so.
  • Do not exit your vehicle unless asked to do so.
  • Comply with the officer's request to see your driver's license and vehicle registration.
  • If the officer issues you a citation that you find objectionable, don't argue with the officer.
  • The proper venue to argue the merits of the citation is in Court.