They may not wear capes or have superpowers, but a team representing Chapman University and the City of Orange are doing heroes’ work to keep local neighborhoods peaceful.

“Since the start of fall semester to the time of publication, less than 10% of disturbance calls citywide were attributed to Chapman University, a number that has been steadily decreasing over the past few years,” said Lt. Phil McMullin from the Orange Police Department (OPD).

The work done by the three-person community liaison team has a lot to do with this decrease. Members include Sgt. Jordan Uemura from OPD, Sgt. Adriana Pasino from Chapman Public Safety and Chapman’s Community Relations manager James Gerrard. Their teamwork exemplifies the strong partnership between Chapman and OPD. Statistics from OPD show the liaison team’s efforts are having a positive impact. The team visits students living off campus who have received a written warning, a fine or a citation from OPD. The goal of the program is to facilitate common ground and mutual understanding between students and their neighbors.

They take an educational approach and talk to the students about being a good and considerate neighbor. The team answers questions about what can happen if OPD is continually called out to address concerns. They also discuss the support role the university’s Public Safety department plays in this work, and what can happen if there is a violation of Chapman’s student code of conduct.

Programs such as this are used by a number of colleges around the country. Students and neighbors both appreciate the time taken to answer questions and address town and gown issues. In most cases, the team does not have to make more than one visit to a house.

Additionally, if neighbors contact Community Relations with concerns, the liaison team might conduct visits to address these issues. For many Chapman students, this is the first time living on their own and they may not know all the expectations of living in a neighborhood. So, for more minor considerations, such as trash cans or parking, students working for Chapman’s Community Relations office will often follow up with a peer-to-peer visit to the residence.

The liaison team also meets with neighbors about student relations, expectations, and how Chapman and OPD address issues of student misconduct. Chapman is not permitted to respond to disturbances taking place off campus on private property. For issues requiring an immediate response, neighbors are encouraged to call OPD’s non-emergency line at (714) 744-7444.