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Cape Cod Community College Chief of Police Maria Padilla

By Virginia Johnston

On Wednesday, March 20 a campus-wide crime alert was sent out by Cape Cod Community College (4Cs) Chief of Police Maria Padilla to warn of a wanted subject, Darren Devine. Each student, faculty and staff member received an email notification about the concern. A follow-up cancellation email sent on Saturday, March 23 updated everyone that the subject was apprehended in Michigan.

Devine is a former 4Cs student and was known to be recently homeless in Provincetown. He had been known to have previously broken into buildings and cars. Because of this, as well as the fact that he knew the terrain of the college, it was decided that he posed a threat to the community.

“You need to have awareness wherever you go,” said Padilla, explaining that it is important for everyone on campus to be aware of any possible danger.

The natural reaction is usually to be unnerved, but alertness should outweigh any discomfort.

“I was surprised that someone would do that,” said first-year 4Cs student Tyler McKay. “You don’t hear about that around here on campus.”

As a commuter college, 4Cs brings in people from counties across the cape, not just Barnstable. This means that threats from other communities must be considered when evaluating the safety of campus.

“We have a safe place here,” said Padilla. “I look at it as my responsibility to the community, to those who travel. It’s a moral obligation.”

Legally, the Clery Act requires 4Cs to be upfront about crime on campus. According to the Clery Center website, “The Clery Act is a consumer protection law that aims to provide transparency around campus crime policy and statistics.”

All alerts are also passed by President John Cox, who Padilla said is very supportive of the College Police.

Padilla stresses that it’s important to send out information about any potential threat to the community. Her process is to take in the total picture of each situation before deciding on how to proceed intelligently. Each incident has different circumstances to consider.

Serious threats always require an alert, whether it be grand larceny or a predator on the loose. According to Padilla, it’s better to be concerned and aware than uninformed.

“I have my family at the college, my career family,” she said. “My philosophy is to be reliable and responsible.”

Padilla stated proudly that the way she cares for the 4Cs community is the same way she would for her own relatives.

If there are people out there that want to be more involved, remember that the College Police is a resource, and stop by the office in the Grossman Commons. For those who would like to speak to an officer for support, call 774-330-4349. The emergency extension on campus is x3333.

“Everybody’s eyes are my eyes,” said Chief Padilla. “I’m only as good as the people giving me information.”