BY T. M. COOKS
PASADENA, CA – Last Tuesday, the Chief of Caltech Security announced that the department will be undergoing some changes. Most notably, Caltech will be supplementing campus security with the addition of heavily armed U.S. Military troops.
“We are pleased to welcome our new colleagues to the Campus Security and Parking Services Department,” said Victor Clay, Chief of Caltech Security. “U.S. troops are trusted to serve in over 100 nations worldwide.”
The newly hired U.S. troops will primarily be responsible for routine walkthroughs and enforcement, while Caltech-employed security will continue to lead the department and handle roles involving high contact with students and administrators. Additional troops may be present in sensitive situations such as interhouse parties and administrators’ office hours.
The patrol teams are to consist of between seven and nine members of the U.S. Military, who will be outfitted with head-to-toe body armor, rubber bullets and tear gas, normal bullets and chlorine gas, and additional equipment as may be necessary to respond to anticipated situations. A new clause in Caltech Housing contracts, effective immediately, will grant troops a no-knock search warrant to all rooms on campus.
This transition in security personnel will be accompanied by various campus improvement projects, which will serve the purpose of allowing the heavily armed U.S. soldiers to do their job of keeping campus safe. The historical Olive Walk will be widened and repaved in order to accommodate full-size USMC M1A1 tanks, which will be added to the security force as early as Fall 2020. Beckman Lawn will be converted into a parking lot for the tanks and other armored vehicles. To fund timely completion of these developments, construction of the Chen Neuroscience Research Building will be delayed for five years, and all student clubs will be asked to contribute $20.
In a statement, Caltech president Tom Rosenbaum said, “Caltech, along with the broader scientific community, has a long history of being largely funded by the Department of Defense. This is the natural next step.”