Police Chief Davis Nighswonger is joined by Governing Board Members Nora Vargas and Tim Nader, College Superintendent/President Dr. Kindred Murillo and community members as they cut the ribbon on the new Public Safety building. Photo courtesy Southwestern College.

Southwestern College’s police department celebrated the opening of its new facility with a ribbon-cutting Thursday on the Chula Vista campus.

The new College Police Building, situated in parking lot C, gives police and staff a new lobby that can serve more students, a modernized dispatch center, expanded offices, storage space, community space, an evidence processing facility, locker rooms, a secure armory, secure parking and an emergency operations center.

“We want to commend Chief Davis Nighswonger and his team for overseeing the construction of this facility,” said Superintendent/President Dr. Kindred Murillo. “This facility is reflective of the professionalism of our officers and police personal and helps us demonstrate their philosophy of openness and inclusion.”

The 7,077 gross-square-foot facility was built by Balfour Beatty and designed by Tucker Sadler Architects. The new building cost $8.4 million and is part of Southwestern College’s Facilities Master Plan, funded by Propositions R and Z, that will reimagine the district’s campuses and upgrade its facilities to better serve students and the community. 

College Police promotes the safety and security of every Southwestern College campus, including the Higher Education Centers in National City, Otay Mesa, and San Ysidro. The department has 12 sworn police officers and 15 non-sworn personnel. 

The police department provides a number of services to the campus community and students, including parking services, escort services around campus, victim services, lost and found, jump-starting students’ cars and more.

Chief Nighswonger is hoping the building becomes a community resource. He has reached out to the Chula Vista Police Department to offer the facility as office space for officers patrolling the east portion of the city. The chief also is hoping to bring a drop off box for unused prescription drugs to the facility.

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