While the syllabus for the winter quarter course Exploring Campus Public Safety is still being developed, Vince Bergado, support services manager at the Stanford Department of Public Safety, says the deadline is fast approaching for signing up for the class.

One session of Exploring Campus Public Safety will focus on preparations for dignitary visits, with a demonstration by Stanford Deputy Sheriff Chris Mazzone and Flash, a Labrador retriever trained in explosives detection. (Image credit: Dean DeVlugt)

The 10-week course, which begins Jan. 5, will include lectures, discussions and hands-on activities, and will explore the multitude of roles, responsibilities and services provided by the people who work in Stanford’s Department of Public Safety, including deputies, civilian staff and security personnel.

This year, Bergado is hiring two students as community program collaborators for the course, which qualifies for 1 unit of credit as a Cardinal Course.

“The students will be working with me for the next few weeks to help shape the course and make sure it addresses some of the questions students have raised about policing on campus,” he said. “We’re trying to gear the course more toward student curiosity.”

Once the course begins, the students serving as community program collaborators will provide observations and feedback after each session.

“They will participate in the class, document their observations about how the course is going and discuss whether the planned activities can be improved, and recommend changes in successive classes based on interest and engagement,” Bergado said. “I also plan to ask them to assist as role-players in scenarios presented during the class.”

All students taking the course for credit will submit an essay after each class that includes insights gained from class activities as well as from reading academic studies, books or newspaper articles. The class will meet from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesdays.

Bergado said the course will include sessions focused on communications and response readiness, special events and field sobriety testing. Each class will include classroom activities.

  • In the communications and response readiness class, the instructors discuss the range of response tools, including critical de-escalation techniques, and give participants an opportunity to step into scenarios to practice the safe and respectful resolution of a service call.
  • In the special events class, participants can see behind the scenes into the preparations for dignitary visits and stadium event operations and see a demonstration by Stanford Deputy Sheriff Chris Mazzone and the department’s Explosive Ordinance Detection K-9 – a black Labrador Retriever named Flash.
  • In the DUI (Driving Under the Influence) wet lab, participants learn about the mechanics of a traffic stop and get some basic instruction on field sobriety testing. They can apply those new assessment skills with volunteer subjects who may or may not be too intoxicated to drive.

To enroll in the annual course, which is open to students, faculty and staff, participants must be 18 years old and complete an application that includes a cursory background check. Applications are due Dec. 15.