Students feel safe on campus, poll reveals


Megan Cunningham

Being visible on campus around the clock is one of the ways AACC campus police increase safety, according to Police Chief Sean Kapfhammer. Shown, Officer Raymond Fields.

Izzy Chase, Reporter

Did you know AACC has its own armed police force?
Some students told Campus Current they feel safe on campus but they don’t know why crime is so low.
Campus Police Chief Sean Kapfhammer said the campus is safe, in part, because of the police presence.
“We try to be omnipresent, which means visible at all times,” Kapfhammer said. “We encourage the officers to be in the buildings walking around during their tours of duty so people can see them.”
Of the 16 community colleges in Maryland, four, including AACC, Montgomery College, Carroll Community College and Hagerstown Community College, have armed police. Most others have security officers who cannot make arrests or carry guns.
In an informal poll on the Arnold campus, 38 out of 40 students said campus is safe.
The 2022 annual security report bears that out. The document noted 15 crimes on campus, including four larcenies and four vandalisms.
Kapfhammer said security cameras and a lack of dorms on campus contribute to low crime rates.
The Department of Public Safety and Police offers self-defense classes and non-emergency services like escorts after dark and training, including active shooter drills.
Kapfhammer said victims should immediately report crimes to campus police.
“Documentation is very important,” Kapfhammer said. “That all could be used as evidence at a later date.”
Nick Faravaugh, a first-year business student, said he believes campus is safe but was unaware of the police presence.
“I haven’t noticed much campus security, but I don’t think it’s needed, either,” Faravaugh said.
First-year undecided student Georgia Sines said she’s had “uncomfortable” experiences on campus, but none she would consider unsafe.
On the other hand, some students, like Sebastian Swartz, a second-year communications student, said despite the resources available, students aren’t aware of the campus police force.