5 Questions with Bria Shelley, a CSO


Jen Atkinson
Staff Writer

Q: What is your favorite part of the job?
A: Definitely working concerts. Even if we still have to do pat-downs or work the door, we still get to hear the concert, and if we get lucky enough to where we just get to roam around, we get to watch the concert too. I get paid to be there.

Q: Who are the people who typically use this service? Are they people walking home from the library late on a Tuesday night or do you get a bunch of the 3 a.m. calls on the weekends?
A: I don’t work too many weekend shifts, so you might get a different answer from someone else. But even on Thursdays, it’s not usually helping the people partying or stumbling their way home. It’s more like, “I’m at the library and don’t want to walk back by myself.” It’s mostly just helping people get from one place to another.

Q: How do you feel the student body reacts to you when you have to do the “dirty work” of the job, such as impounding bikes?
A: Some people are really upset that their bike is gone, but a lot of people tend to be really cool about it. They realize, “I parked my bike there when I shouldn’t, and now it’s gone.” We’re not going to go around and do a bunch of impounds in the middle of everyone getting their bikes to cause problems. I recently invested in a fancy bike, and I don’t want it getting stolen or impounded, so I’m going to lock it to a rack. I’m going to go to class five minutes early to take the time and just put it here so that I avoid all of those issues. I figure if I can do that and I’m usually pretty lazy, then other people can too. It’s not my fault, I’m just doing my job.

Q: What is the best or funniest story you have from all the times you have worked as a CSO?
A: Some guy last year, when I worked Extravaganza, tried to distract me and then hopped the fence. He came out of the bushes and the hills, hopped the fence, then ran into the crowd. I was like, “I’m not chasing you into a thousand people,” and there was nothing I could do about it. I was just surprised that he came through the woods then hopped the fence. Once he was in there, there was nothing I could do about it. It’s not my job to chase you and tackle you. We technically can’t touch people.

Q: Why do you think it’s important to have CSOs as opposed to just the UCPD?
A: I think it makes the whole police department a little more approachable. People usually don’t enjoy interacting with the police because it’s usually for something that’s happened. Then you could have friends that are CSOs, and the cops here are actually pretty chill as long as you’re not doing anything outrageous; they all went to UCSB and lived in IV. I think this just makes them a little more approachable and less intimidating. If you have a friend who’s a CSO, it makes you understand that we’re just doing our job. It doesn’t make my day to go and make your life difficult; I just have to do these certain things during these hours so that I can go about my day and do other things too.