A Force Against Sex Crimes
California Campus Sexual Assault Task Force will create uniform safety standards across state campuses.
September 11, 2003 3:49 PM
SF State’s police chief will join a new task force that will convene in two weeks to assess and change the way the state’s colleges and universities prevent and react to sex crimes.
Chief Kimberly Wible, 45, will act as an advisory on campus law enforcement issues.
The group is a response to varying safety standards throughout state college and university campuses. Gov. Gray Davis signed the bill creating the 15-member California Campus Sexual Assault Task Force in September 2002.
“We wanted to develop uniform standards, so you could go to any college campus in California and guarantee a certain (standard) level of safety,” said William Wong, chief of staff for Assemblymember Judy Chu, D-Monterey Park, who authored the bill.
As a former rape crisis counselor and instructor at East Los Angeles College, Chu has interest and experience in both safety and women’s issues.
To establish a viable plan that will act as a guide for colleges and universities throughout California, Chu created a bill mandating that a group of experts be gathered “to find out what works and what doesn’t,” according to Wong.
Wible is one of the two California State University representatives, according to Amber Pasricha, spokeswoman for Davis.
“The selection process is the same as for any other task force,” Pasricha said. “The candidates submit an application, which they can obtain from the Internet, and the office selects those they find to be most qualified.”
Wible found herself a member of another elite group 15 years ago when she became the California State University system’s youngest police chief. She also said she is currently the second youngest police chief appointed in California.
In addition, Wible oversees the CSU system and SF State compliance to the Jeanne Cleary Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act of 1990. The act requires colleges receiving federal funds to report the sexual assault incidents occurring on their campuses.
SF State had a total of 11 reports of forcible and non-forcible sex offenses, according to data for the four-year time period of 1999 to 2001.
Wible was not available for extensive comments. The task force’s goal is to create a standard system for gathering information on and addressing incidences of sexual assault on college and university campuses.
But first, the force goes through an assessment process that includes reviewing prevention education programs, as well as current laws and resources available to sex crime victims within California’s institutions of higher learning.
There are 10 categories of representatives that fill the task force. They range from people who work within California higher education institutions, rape crisis centers, the State Department of Health Services and two members of the public.
Requirements of the task force include: conducting four meetings and three public hearings, and generating a “Campus Blueprint to Address Sexual Assault” that will be presented to the legislature on or before April 1, 2004.
As set out in the bill, Gov. Davis appoints 14 out of the 15-member task force. The 15th, chosen by state Attorney General Bill Lockyer, is required to be a representative from the attorney general’s office.
Lockyer chose Patty O’Ran, assistant director of the Attorney General’s Crime and Violence Prevention Center. O’Ran’s work in the prevention field includes domestic violence, teen violence and child abuse.
“The Attorney General’s Offic feels any kind of crime data collection provides a better picture and extent of the problem,” she said.
The task force is administered by the Sexual Assault Branch of the California Office of Criminal Justice and Planning; its members are not given a salary.
For more information on the Task Force, contact the Sexual Assault Branch of the Office of Criminal Justice and Planning at (916) 324-9120. For more information on SF State crime statistics call the campus Department of Public Safety’s information line at (415) 338-7200.
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