UCLA is creating a new security office and vowing “immediate change” after campus violence

UCLA is creating a new security office and vowing “immediate change” after campus violence

The University of California, Los Angeles, said it would change the school’s security operations following violence at recent campus protests over the war in Gaza.

Chancellor Gene D. Block announced the move Sunday, saying that “immediate changes are needed in the way we administer security operations” to best protect the school community. He also committed to a “thorough investigation of our security processes.”

Block said oversight and management of the UCLA Police Department and the Office of Emergency Management are moving to the newly created Office of Campus Safety. The head of office will report directly to Blok, the chancellor explained in a statement.

“It is clear that UCLA needs units and leaders whose responsibility is campus safety to guide us through this tense time,” Block said.
Block also announced that Rick Braziel, former chief of the Sacramento Police Department, will lead the office as its associate vice chancellor. Braziel has more than 30 years of experience in public safety, served as an instructor in community policing, and has led department reviews of law enforcement and police response, the chancellor said.

Some context: The change comes after protesters calling for an end to the war in Gaza and the university’s withdrawal from Israel set up camp on the UCLA campus.

School officials called the police, who were seen firing rubber bullets while clearing the protesters.

Masked men were also seen attacking pro-Palestinian encampments for hours without police intervention, punching, hitting and kicking protesters, according to video from the scene and witness accounts.

Block acknowledged in his statement that recent events have “tightened trust in our community,” but did not reference specific incidents.

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