Never underestimate the power of a neighborly visit from officers in uniform.
Sgt. Rob Thorsen of the Orange Police Department and Capt. John Kabala of Chapman Public Safety are part of a Chapman University community liaison program aimed at informing students living near campus about how to be good neighbors and the consequences of participating in loud parties.
The officers make weekly daytime visits to houses or apartments where students live, particularly to residences that have been the focus of recent or repeated complaints. Their efforts appear to be helping: Disturbance calls to OPD related to students decreased by 30 percent in the most recent six-month period ending May 31.
The officers make sure students know about the city ordinance that can lead to a misdemeanor citation for a “loud and unruly gathering” in Orange, as well as the University Code of Conduct.
“I talk to the students and tell them, ‘This is a misdemeanor,’” Thorsen said. “I educate the students and provide guidance as to the impact their actions could have with prospective employers in the future.”
Kabala said “99.9 percent” of the students are “very responsive and very respectful.”
The liaison program, a joint effort of the University’s Office of Community Relations and Chapman Public Safety, helped Chapman earn a top 25 national recognition from the Safe Campus National Campus Safety Summit for increased safety and security of the campus community.
Jack Raubolt, Chapman’s vice president of community relations, notes that because of jurisdiction issues, residents who need to report an immediate disturbance should call the Orange Police Department at (714) 744-7444. The Office of Community Relations receives a report of student-related calls each week.
Sgt. Rob Thorsen of the Orange Police Department and Capt. John Kabala of Chapman Public Safety make visits to students in the neighborhood. (Photo/Livi Dom ’20)