A MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
A message from Angelo
President, California University of Pennsylvania
Several troubling events in California Borough have raised questions, especially among students and their families, about the security of our campus and the surrounding community.
I understand those concerns, and I want to assure you that California University is fully committed to maintaining a safe and secure environment for our students.
This semester the University has issued three “timely warnings” to notify students, employees and the community about crimes in the area. These notifications, required by law, are intended to provide important information so students (and others) can make wise decisions and take steps to remain safe.
It is important to note that none of the incidents that prompted these warnings occurred on our campus. Also, none were the result of random violence in the community. Unfortunately, each of these incidents stemmed from specific actions on the part of individuals who are not affiliated with the University.
Let me share with you some specific information provided by police Chief Bob Downey, head of our California University Police Department:
We are taking all steps
to ensure that the violence will not spill onto campus. In fact, our University
Police are working closely with the local community to mitigate the problems,
because we have a shared vision of a safe community.
These three incidents all occurred off campus and in the surrounding communities, but this is not a deterrent to our efforts. Our department and the California Borough Police work very closely together, and there are no obstacles in our communications. To address our concerns about student safety, the University Police Department has consistently brought out extra officers to supplement the borough police force and to work hand-in-hand with borough officers.
In addition, we have enlisted the services of other law enforcement agencies, such as the Pennsylvania State Police and the State Liquor Control Enforcement, as well as the Washington County District Attorney's Office.
The incidents that have taken place in recent weeks are disturbing, and we take them very seriously. The first occurred at a tavern that is not within walking distance of the campus. It stemmed from an argument between two individuals who are not affiliated whatsoever with the University and culminated in one man firing a handgun and striking the other in the leg.
The second incident was again the result of a personal fight with no apparent connection to the University; the person who lost the fight went to the other’s residence and fired at the building.
The most recent incident is still under investigation, but there are indications that it was drug-related. Again, there is no indication that the victim or suspects have any ties to the University.
As you can see, these were not random acts of violence. Instead, specific individuals were targeted due to their confrontational or possibly illegal actions.
Obviously, it is very disturbing to hear about these types of crimes occurring near to the University. Nevertheless, we feel that it is vitally important to let the University community know what is taking place, so that our students, staff and faculty can make safe and informed decisions.
It is my personal opinion that we should provide as much information as possible with regard to crime in the vicinity, so that our students are cognizant of their surroundings and stay on alert, so they can remain safe.
Again, our University Police are committed to working with California Borough officials and borough police to reduce the criminal element in the surrounding community. We meet frequently and exchange information with their administration and their entire force to address these types of concerns.
Let me stress once again California University’s commitment to providing a secure environment for all. We will continue our efforts to address this important topic, and to keep you informed as we pursue solutions.
At the same time, I ask every member of the campus community to play a part in making Cal U a place where students can live and learn in safety. Please register for Cal U Text Alerts, if you haven’t done so already. Review the safety tips and other information found on this page, and share this important information with friends and family.
By working together, we can ensure that Cal U remains a place of opportunity for us all.
Angelo Armenti, Jr.
President, California University of Pennsylvania
Chief Bob Downey
Chief of Police / Director, Public Safety and University Police
“We are taking all steps to ensure that the violence will not spill onto campus. In fact, our University Police are working closely with the local community to mitigate the problems, because we have a shared vision of a safe community.”