Story and photo illustration
by ALEXANDER LOPEZ
The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS) has awarded Pima Community College a “GOHS Pedestrian and Bicyclist Focus Education and Enforcement Efforts” grant, for the amount of $10,000 and will be paid out through the 2019 year.
So far, Pima Community College Police Department had conducted three pedestrian and bicycle safety traffic campaigns, all were paid for by the grant.
The three safety campaigns have taken place at the Downtown Campus, because of its high numbers of collisions involving pedestrians and bicycles, described Officer Josh Blum.
The Downtown Campus isn’t the only affected area. Due to the large volume of traffic the West Campus sees on a weekly basis as well as the adjacent streets and neighborhoods, which PCCPD also patrols, the incidents also occur frequently.
“Our efforts will largely be focused on the streets on and adjacent to the Downtown and West Campuses due to the quantity of collisions involving pedestrians and bicycles in these areas,” said Officer Blum.
The grant is geared to funding public events, hosted by PCCPD, to educate and bring awareness to the growing issue on campus. It will also fund overtime pay so that officers can do more patrols and issue more citation and warning to violators.
“This grant will improve our goal of reducing pedestrian and bicycles collisions by assigning additional officers, on overtime, to conduct the activities while regularly scheduled patrol personnel conduct the normal duties of providing safety and security to students, faculty, staff, and visitors of Pima Community College,” said Blum.
PCCPD is also planning on using the newly issued police motorcycles to also add police presence on campus as well as make necessary citations to improving campus safety. It is not clear, at this time, if there will be any modifications to the campuses to help with the improvements, like additional crosswalks. PCCPD also doesn’t plan on hiring or opening positions at this time.
Students around campus feel that an increased police presence may actually help the growing problem. “I think it will improve people driving like running stop signs or speeding to find a parking spot,” said Avery Granillo, a sophomore at the West Campus. “It probably will reduce the collisions because having a police officer in the car, near the school, will have everybody kind of cautious with their driving”
Granillo added but did admit that he hasn’t witnessed any car crashes, people being hit or bikes being run over.
As for Officer Blum, he enjoys helping people, solving crimes against students, preventing crime by vigilantly partoling and even helping new students find their classes on the first day, but does have a message for student, faculty and guests of the campus.
“Safety is a mindset that should be practiced by everyone visiting Pima Community College. Be aware of your surrounding and trust your instincts. If something feels unsafe, trust that instinct, and call us to investigate further. Vigilant eyes and ear at Pima Community College help us greatly in improving the safety of our campuses.
Also, make sure you are signed up for PCC alerts text messages so that you can have immediate information if a safety concern arises at Pima Community College.
- Using your cell phone, text the word “alerts” to “79516”
- You will receive a confirmation message.