In the Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety we trust

Students offer their views on law enforcement in the Sunnyvale community

Even with recent reports of police brutality nationwide, students living in Sunnyvale still trust the local police department.

For senior Nicolle Ayon Campos, upholding her trust in the Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety is no difficult feat as she believes the media over-sensationalizes the frequency of police brutality.

“I think it’s a little bit blown out of proportion how common it happens,” Ayon Campos said. “Like if you look at studies that have been done, you can see that a very small percentage of police officers are actually proven guilty because all other allegations have been found to have…not sufficient information.”

Like Ayon Campos, junior Alex Lyon said he trusts the  local law enforcement because he has not heard any major incidents of police wrongdoing in our community and has had positive experiences with law enforcement .

Lyon said he believes Sunnyvale’s low crime rate is a factor as to why incidents of police wrongdoing here are rare.

“Since people are more inclined to follow the law here, there is not going to be a lot of police involvement,” Lyon said.

Lyon said he believes the lack of crime decreases the potential for there to be police brutality.

According to the Sunnyvale Uniform Crime Reports, the city has consistently had low crime rates in the past nine years. The violent crime rate per one thousand people in a community of close to 15,000 people has been between 0.98 and 1.39 crimes from 2006 to 2014.

Although senior Erielle McCloud said she generally distrusts police officers due to the homicides of unarmed African Americans by law enforcement officers, she does not exactly distrust the Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety.

“They haven’t given me a reason to distrust them, but they haven’t given me a reason to trust them either,” McCloud said.

McCloud, who is African-American, said she and a majority of the black community feel safer being cautious around the police rather than trusting them and being easily targeted.

“It’s a known fact that people perceive black people to be older, more threatening, more aggressive even if we aren’t wearing the stereotypical clothes or exhibiting a certain behavior,” McCloud said. “We’re just automatically set up to be ‘threatening’ or we don’t evoke the same amount of sympathy for people.”

However, because she said she has not heard of or experienced any incidents involving excessive force from the local police department, McCloud feels they are doing a satisfactory job in maintaining the peace.

“I haven’t heard any problems so keep doing what you are doing,” McCloud said.