The Foothill-De Anza Community College District Police Department became a full-service, California Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) recognized law enforcement agency in 2001. Prior to 2001, Foothill College in Los Altos Hills and De Anza College in Cupertino, maintained separate departments. While Foothill had POST certified, armed, uniformed officers, De Anza only had unarmed officers, who wore polo shirts and slacks. With changes in the law and events that had occurred on the campuses, the college district decided to combine their resources and provide full police services to the students, faculty and staff of both campuses.
Message from the Chief, May 2021
Dear FHDA Family,
A little, over a year and a half ago, I sent a letter after the Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting and today I write a similar letter. As most of you may know by now, another shooting occurred Wednesday morning at 6:34 AM, at the Santa Clara County VTA light rail transit yard. Nine innocent individuals were killed and taken from their families. Officers and other first responders from multiple agencies responded to the scene in an effort to end and minimize the tragic event. The lives of many have been and will forever be affected. My sincere condolences to the families and friends of the victims. Personally knowing people who work for the VTA and many of the officers who responded to the shooting, reminds me how quickly our lives can change wherever you may be.
With the identification of the victims, I am certain some within our FHDA community could very well be affected by this tragic incident in more ways than they initially thought. As a reminder, the District has great resources should you or someone else need counseling through employee benefits or Student Services at both colleges (see links below). Please take care of yourself and each other by using these resources or at the very least, reach out to one another.
Our responsibility as employees of the District’s Police Department is to keep our community safe. To that end, we continue to work with many partners within and outside of our FHDA community. Our environment is a soft target for this type incident. Working together, we do whatever we can to ensure that we can at least recognize our vulnerabilities and prepare the best we can. Your police department already has training scheduled during the summer break. Included in the training schedule is active shooter training sponsored by UCSC PD at UCSC, which has proved to be one of the best in the business.
Preparing through training is all of our responsibilities, it may not be what we want to do but the reality is that it is a necessary task. If you have not participated in some available training, within FHDA or in the broader community, think about doing so. Please take the time to review “Active Assailant Training” on the FHDA Police website (see link below). While most of us do not remember all of the points at training sessions, anything learned is a step towards surviving an event like this. In addition to training, our leadership is committed to everyone’s safety. Safety assessments and discussions go on throughout the year. The purpose of continued assessments is to provide recommendations in any form, be it designs, policy or actions. The District Police Department is here to support you and your activities on campus and we would ask that you consider us both a resource and a partner.
I would also like to commend the officers and other first responders who moved quickly to end the tragedy, ensuring more innocent lives were not taken. As mentioned by many, this event could have easily been much worse were it not for their actions. Your officers wear the FHDA uniform proudly as they continue to keep the FHDA community safe every day of the year.
Lastly, please keep the families and friends of the nine victims in your thoughts. Take care of yourselves and each other.
Have a safe and wonderful day,
Chief Danny Acosta