Rob Crew, left, coordinator of the UCSB Police Department Campus Safety Officers; CSO Nic Capsimalis; Lt. David Millard; and UCSB alumna Diane Dodds. (Olivia Hayden)

Student safety on the UCSB campus and adjacent Isla Vista community has been expanded thanks to a donation from a local philanthropist who is a UCSB alumna and UCSB Alumni member.

The UCSB Police Department has obtained 12 new bicycles for its Campus Service Officers (CSO). The patrol group, made up of students, provides free personal safety-escort services throughout the UCSB campus and adjacent Isla Vista community.

The bikes allow the CSO to move more quickly between calls for safety-escort service and to accompany callers who have bicycles themselves. With the additional dozen bikes, the CSO fleet now numbers 25.

“Being able to enhance campus safety and security with these new CSO bicycles is amazing,” said UCSB Police Chief Dustin Olson. “We are fortunate and grateful to have a member of UCSB Alumni committed to the CSO program.”

The bikes are among several projects being underwritten by UCSB alumna Diane Dodds (1968) to improve the safety and quality of life on campus and in Isla Vista. Dodds recalled getting around campus and Isla Vista by bike when she was a UCSB student.

“It gives me particular joy to know that this money has been used for bikes to patrol the area that was once my home,” Dodds said.

CSOs patrol campus year ’round, report crimes in progress, assist in emergency situations and detect safety hazards. Each patrol is equipped with a digital radio for constant contact with UCSB police.

There are 102 male and female students employed as CSOs. One of them, Hannah Vasquez, said: “Giving CSO safety escorts is one of my favorite things to do and the addition of the new bicycles really helps us reach people faster and make a bigger difference in the community.”

Purchased from a local bike shop, the new mountain bikes have heavy-duty inner tubes and special lighting for nighttime safety.

“Our CSO safety-escort program is one of the most important programs in our community,” said Matthew Stern, police corporal with the UCSB Police Department.

“As a former CSO, I can tell you that CSOs pride themselves on quick response times and commitment to service which would not be possible without quality, reliable bicycles,” Stern said.

For more information, contact George Thurlow,, 893-4799.

— Sophia Fischer for UCSB Alumni.