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UC Community Safety Plan and UC Berkeley’s Progress

To the campus community:

This past Monday, the UC Office of the President released the final version of its UC Community Safety Plan along with a letter and video message to the university community from UC President Michael V. Drake. The plan offers a new, welcome vision for the provision of campus and community safety. I urge everyone to review the anticipated changes in UC’s culture, policies and practices that are designed to afford every member of the community with the respect and protection they need and deserve.

The plan was developed based on input from a diverse group of stakeholders, including members of our Campus Safety Task Force, participants in campus safety symposia held during the 2020-21 academic year, and a large number of students, faculty, and staff who have participated in conversations about these issues.

In June, a draft plan was released to campuses and the UC Berkeley campus community submitted more than 140 comments and suggestions for improvements which were shared with UCOP. The final version of the plan includes four main elements:

Community and Service-Driven Safety 

Campus safety policies and practices must reflect and serve the needs and values of our diverse community.

A Holistic, Inclusive and Tiered Response Model for Safety Services

Campuses will integrate policing with mental health, wellness, and basic needs services, as well as bias/hate response programs, through inter-departmental partnerships and cross-trainings. Multi-disciplinary teams will respond to and triage behavioral health crises, conduct wellness checks, and safely connect individuals to coordinated care, including health and social support resources.

Transparency and Continuous Improvement Through Data

Campuses will collect and publicly share uniform campus safety data on a UC-wide dashboard that will empower the UC community and inform change.

Accountability and Independent Oversight Police

Accountability boards on every campus will provide a robust complaint and investigation process to ensure that officers are always acting in a manner consistent with rules, policies the law, and the university’s values of equity and inclusion.

The President’s plan includes an implementation framework with 31 specific action items UCOP has directed campuses to implement in the coming year.

The plan arrives as Berkeley continues to implement its own, campus-specific reforms and improvements to community safety practices. The proposed actions are consistent with the recommendations provided by the Chancellor’s Independent Advisory Board in its 2020 Annual Report, and those described by Chancellor Christ in her June 2020 call to campus to Reimagine Campus Safety. Berkeley’s Business Process Management Office is tasked with implementing the recommendations of the Chancellor and the IAB and reports on implementation status on its website.  I encourage you to read a discussion I had with Berkeley News this week to learn more about the efforts underway at Berkeley to enhance campus and community safety.

The President’s plan intersects with some of the initiatives that Berkeley is already pursuing, while also introducing new, additional recommendations for changes in policies and practice improvements. In the coming weeks, we will be reviewing the President’s plan to determine how best to implement and integrate it with work already underway at Berkeley.

Thank you to everyone at Berkeley who took the time to read and suggest improvements to the President’s plan. The volume of thoughtful ideas and suggestions is a clear indication of broad community interest in campus safety issues, and the importance of the work that lies ahead.  Working together, I am confident we can create a campus environment where everyone feels welcome, respected, and safe.

Sincerely,

Marc Fisher


Vice Chancellor, Administration

 

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