El Camino continues to be haven for drug and alcohol violation arrests; sees spike in weapons arrests

Illustration+of+the+number+of+arrests+by+college+over+the+last+three+years.+Photo+credit%3A+Phil+Sidavong

Illustration of the number of arrests by college over the last three years. Photo credit: Phil Sidavong

An international female student woke up to find a man robbing her home in 2015; the same man raped her before leaving and was caught by police. He was sentenced to 28 years in prison over the summer.

An unknown male subject, who may have been a student, has been asking female students for hugs and sometimes kisses for at least the past two semesters, according to student testimonies.

Last fall, three-male students were involved in a fight and one of the students pulled out a knife during the altercation.

Every time the police beat comes out, it seems someone is being arrested for drugs or alcohol, and these are just several of the 58 reports and arrests made to the police department during 2015.

In 2015 alone, there were five weapons violation arrests. In 2013 and 2014, only one arrest was made.

This semester (fall 2016) alone, there have been three-reported armed robberies on Manhattan Beach Boulevard and Lemoli Avenue, with the most recent occurring on Oct. 4.

Despite the number of weapons violations rising, there are still some students who feel safe on campus.

“I feel safe on campus (at night), the campus is lit up and there are many Blue Emergency Phones on campus,” Elita Yam, 21, radiotechnology major, said.

But there are those who blame the police on campus, including 20-year-old Bryan Chavez, psychology major.

“The police aren’t doing what they are supposed to be doing,” Chavez said. “It is shocking, how we could go from one to five weapons arrests and for L.A. Southwest to have less than us is astonishing (too).”

Uriel Vera, 18, aerospace engineering major, sees the number of arrests as an accomplishment for the police.

“We have double the number of weapon violations (compared to) other schools,” Vera said. “But we have to remember this does (mean) we have a better security team than the other schools, because (our police) is catching more people.”

Though the weapons arrests have risen, there hasn’t been a significant change in the liquor and drug abuse violation arrests:

  • In 2013 there were five liquor and 12 drug abuse violation arrests on campus and just one liquor arrest in areas near campus.
  • In 2014 there were four liquor and 10 drug arrests on campus and two drug arrests in areas near campus.
  • In 2015 there were four liquor and 11 drug arrests on campus and six drug arrests in areas near campus.

“They have been pretty consistent,” EC president Dena Maloney said. “I think that’s an indication of the police force doing (its) job in citing or taking appropriate action.”

This information can be found in the El Camino Police Department’s annual crime report, which is mandatory for schools to produce every Oct. 1 because of the Clery Act – which requires colleges and universities receiving federal funding to disclose the reported instances of criminal activity on their campus.

EC police had the report out to the public on time, considering L.A. Harbor College doesn’t have anything past 2013, according to Harbor’s website.

In comparison, L.A. Pierce College only has 14 arrests/reports from 2015 and just nine of those were on campus, according to the Pierce College crime report. Santa Monica College had 21 total reports on campus in 2015, according to its own report.

El Camino has had 52 of its 58 arrests/reports on campus with the other six being on property contingent to campus, or areas where the police are involved due to certain circumstances.

The campus did see a spike in domestic/dating violence and stalking incidents with 21 in the last year, where 2013 and 2014 together had just one stalking incident and zero domestic/dating violence reports.

Domestic violence generally includes married people, people living with each other, whereas dating violence generally involves people who are dating or seeing each other, ECPD chief Michael Trevis said in an email.

He added that there was a change in the law under Title 9 which mandates the police to report domestic and dating violence incidents, whereas in 2013/2014, it did not have to report them in that specific manner.