The word spread fast during the first two weeks of the fall semester that Campus Safety Officer Ed (Adnan) Karaali had been moved to the midnight shift after serving as a community outreach liaison for over three years. He has been involved on campus since 2013 and is the only Arab-speaking officer on this campus.
After a few weeks of students deciding the route they should take to find out what to do about these changes, a survey went out asking people for feedback about these changes on September 29.
With UM-Dearborn students Kayla Dela Cruz, Janet Vasquez and Amanda Saleh leading this collection of feedback, the deadline for expressing concerns to Student Government and the InCLUDE Leadership Board will end on October 11.
“Since September 8th, 2019, Campus Security Officers have been moved to midnight shift, including Ed (Adnan) Karaali, who has served as a reliable community officer during his employment on campus,” said a UM-Dearborn Student Government Facebook post.
For clarification, Campus Police are armed and sworn officers, while Security Officers are unarmed. There are currently nine police officers that work during the daytime along with a team of six security officers.
“We are able to provide a better service to an entire University of Michigan-Dearborn community by providing a greater presence of sworn law enforcement officers during the days and afternoons, which is the time when we have the greatest number of people on this campus,” said Chief Gary Gorski back in September.
Some students are not opposed to having armed officers on campus due to today’s climate; however, they would like someone accessible like Officer Karaali that is a community liaison.
Other students have said they’ve had negative experiences on campus with current sworn officers and a fear has been instilled in them after their interactions.
Jordan Yunker, a 2019 alum, has a connection with Karaali. During the time she was here, she often observed student interactions with Karaali.
“The campus lacks people that are like Ed,” said Yunker. “He’s fun and compassionate, but still handles his job. A friendly face that we can go to. He’s not armed. He’s culturally accessible and I don’t think that has been the University’s focus.”
She believes students do not take action due to the fear of retaliation.
Chief Gorski was invited as a guest speaker to the Student Government meeting last week, and the question rose about Officer Karaali’s move. One point that was brought up in the meeting was that this campus needs more officers like Karaali, but they believe Karaali also needs to be back in the daytime. He responded by saying that this is protocol.
School and campus climate has changed as the number of mass shootings rises, and students prefer to have these options of safety. As of September 1, there have been 283 mass shootings in the United States just this year alone, according to CBS News.
Some students don’t mind the issue of not having a gun-free campus.
“The officers with guns do more to protect us than making it a gun-free zone,” said Kinsey Burnett, Michigan Journal News Editor.
“With the amount of school shootings we hear about, it’s not far fetched to say that someone we do know or go to school with could cause that same event,” said Jasmine Sizemore, Michigan Journal Student Life Editor.
Michigan Journal Arts & Entertainment Editor Kyla Bazzy said she prefers to have officers that have the same force that the attacker may have.
Student Government will be hosting two Campus Safety informational tables coming up to explain what changes happened with Officer Karaali and the impact that he made on campus. They will also encourage people to fill out the Google form to express their thoughts on these changes.
More information about the students affected will be available when Student Government releases a resolution followed by a petition.
Information about Campus Safety: Campus Safety offers many resources such as escorting students to vehicles, issues with vehicles, counseling situations and immediate assistance. This is also where to pick up parking passes at the beginning of each school year. Their phone number is 313-593-5333.