FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --A strange man standing outside of a 6:00 a.m. class on Fresno City College's campus on Monday alarmed students and the professor after he tried to get inside the classroom. Later, students learned he had a knife on him, but officials said he never took the weapon out of his pocket or threatened anyone. The man wasn't arrested.
"I can understand the fear of people when they see someone that might be a little aggressive. This individual had some difficulty and inability to effectively communicate with folks so there's a natural fear of intimidation," said Dave Paris, SCCCD Police Chief.
A student, who did not want to be identified, said the class was dismissed early as the professor tried to help the man while also calling the police.
"He was trying to enter back into the classroom and my teacher had to hold the door just so the man couldn't get in."
The incident happened around 6:00 a.m.-- an hour before officers with the State Center Community College District arrive on campus.
Chief Paris said for the last couple of months the department has been understaffed and they haven't been able to assign an overnight officer to Fresno City College.
"Because the staffing levels have diminished in the way that they have, we've basically deploy personnel where the population base is."
Most of the officers work 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The college district only has 18 officers to man all of its campuses including Fresno City, Clovis, Reedley, and Madera.
"We've been actively trying to come up with some remedy for this. We have negotiated with Fresno Police Department, with Madera County Sheriff's Department, and Reedley Police Department to assist us in augmentation and patrol for 24/7 coverage," said Paris.
One student hopes more is done to ensure safety on campus-- especially for classes that are held when it's dark outside.
"Being a single mom I fear for my safety because, being a single mom, if anything happens to me what's going to happen to my son."
Ideally, Chief Paris hopes to double the number of officers they have. Extra officers will be on campus starting Wednesday.