KLAMATH FALLS – Klamath Community College and Klamath County Sheriff’s Office announced at a KCC board of education meeting Tuesday that the two organizations are moving forward with plans to open a sheriff substation at the KCC campus.

“As a board we appreciate the work of KCC’s president and staff, as well as the sheriff and his staff, to work so effectively in providing much-needed safety for our students, staff, and community,” said board member Al King, who acted as chairperson at meeting.

The initiative is in response to the need for improved campus safety, according to KCC President Dr. Roberto Gutierrez.

“The presence of a trained law enforcement officer on our campus will be an effective way to deter crime and will provide a faster emergency response, should anything ever happen,” said KCC President Dr. Roberto Gutierrez. “This new partnership is an efficient use of taxpayer money and will be a model for how two state agencies can foster a mutually beneficial relationship.”

Gutierrez said he hopes the patrol sergeant who will manage the substation can be hired before the end of the year. In addition to overseeing the KCC substation, the patrol sergeant may also supervise school resource officers employed by the sheriff’s office, which contracts with the Klamath County School District.

Plans for the substation are organized in three phases. The first phase involves establishing the substation and the positions that will manage it. The second phase extends the law enforcement presence at KCC to evenings, by replacing the college’s evening security liaisons with sheriff reserve deputies.

According to Lt. Randy Swan, who spoke at the meeting, reserve deputies will be required to undergo the same extensive evaluations required of law enforcement officers, including a physical exam, psychological exam, and background investigation.

“The hiring process is the exact same for a full-time deputy,” Swan said.

Finally, in the third phase KCC and the sheriff’s office will work together to establish an on-campus training program for reserve deputies.

“If we can train people here and have a larger pool to draw from, that benefits the entire community,” said Sheriff Chris Kaber. “It’s a win for the college. It’s a win for the county, and it’s a win for the sheriff’s office.”