There are six speakers. Two of them are dressed up in their work uniforms, and one of them wears a light blue uniform with her name embroidered into it. She’s a crime analyst. The other guest wears an all-black uniform with a bright yellow badge on his chest proclaiming “Bakersfield Police Department.” The other four speakers are dressed formally for the panel presentation in the Dezember Room.
The date is Thursday, Feb. 20, and CSU Bakersfield associate professor of criminal justice Zachary Hays, along with workers from the Bakersfield Police Department, are giving a presentation about gun violence prevention.
“Gun violence prevention is any effort made by law-enforcement, the community, and the government to stop people from using guns to either kill or hurt each other. This panel was really all about what can we do to get the community to engage more when it comes to gun violence,” Hays said.
He continues, “One of the most important things we can do, that the police would like to come in to do, is simply report it more. BPD recognizes that sometimes people are afraid to call, and a lot of stuff can be done anonymously these days in the police department. There’s ways to text and there’s ways to go to the city website and submit things electronically. You can call and say you wish to remain anonymous.”
Hays explains that if you see something suspicious in your area, or if you are scared to report what you see, you can report it anonymously. You aren’t required to give your name.
“I think this is important to bring to the CSUB campus and also to the Bakersfield community in general, because a lot of people don’t realize how much help their help is needed. A lot of people view the police as the group that is supposed to do it really all by themselves, but they can’t. They need our help and the community’s,” Hays said.
Hays explains that gun violence prevention is starting to have an effect on the community, and if we want to change, we should all work together to solve this problem.
“I feel it is important coming to an event like this because it makes me feel more aware of what’s going inside the community and how the police department is actually working on the issues,” CSUB student Liliana Arredondo said.
Arredondo says she feels safe knowing that BPD is working on enforcing gang violence prevention in our community.
“I would definitely report anything I see, because small clues can lead to a result,” CSUB computer science major Loay Samha said.