According to college crime statistics, there have already been 11 cases reported in 2009 involving assault, sexual offense, theft, evading arrest and disorderly conduct! As these cases continue to increase, it’s important that our students refrain from becoming a negative statistic. Our campus was built to provide a safe environment for students to learn, grow and enjoy their time as they attempt to achieve a sophisticated level of education. And as crime increases, our students must know the proper ways of staying safe and keeping away from trouble that could possibly end their future.
At Missouri Western, our police department has activated a substantial Griffon Alert Emergency System that a student can abide by if trouble were to occur. The emergency system contains resourceful guides covering the proper safety measures every student should take. These guides are all located right on the MWSU Web site. Through our Web site, students can also upload their phone numbers so they can receive a mass text message from the police department if trouble were to occur. Missouri Western Chief of Police Jon Kelley explains how the campus emergency system is primarily based on self-protection and victim awareness.
“Self-protection is the use of common sense actions that police and security agencies know to be ordinarily effective,” Kelley said. “It means knowing how to avoid being a victim; keeping alert to your environment, being safety conscious and alert to dangerous situations and suspicious persons, learning how to protect yourself and your property and most importantly knowing what to do if you become a victim.”
The Griffon Alert Emergency System contains six emergency circumstances that police and students should be notified about depending on the severity of the situation. These six emergency circumstances include fire, tornados, police emergencies involving a criminal, bomb threat, medical emergency involving an injury or a hostile intruder. Among the police department, parking and security services also assist with these circumstances, especially if the police department cannot help someone immediately. Sophomore and Parking Enforcement Department Lead Noland Stark explains his confidence in the Missouri Western Police Department and Parking and Security Services.
“I have full confidence in the Missouri Western Police Department. We are out here trying to do the job we are assigned. When we come across a vehicle without a decal (parking sticker), we put it down on a vehicle watch list. If we see it multiple times we try to figure out who’s vehicle it is,” Stark said.
Among watching and reviewing vehicles, Parking and Security Services also escort people upon request when a student feels uncomfortable walking around on campus
“We also have courtesy patrol. When a student doesn’t feel safe to walk alone at night or even during the day, they can contact Parking Services,” Stark said.
Yet, even with the Griffon Alert and the Parking Security Services, there is always room for improvement. Students could possibly keep themselves more alert to the campus environment and speak up more about their concerns.
“There are things students can do too,” Stark said. They can be aware of their surroundings and learn what things to look for [in time of danger].”
On the contrary, police officers could also become more involved with the more serious problems on campus. Senior Diana Klumpe feels that the police officers spend too much time focusing on vehicle watching rather than focusing on other problems among students and campus residents.
“Public Safety should acknowledge the more serious problems rather than being so anal about where people park. When I lived in Leaverton there was somebody arrested at least once a week,” Klumpe said. “[We should] have more public safety officers present and available during peak times of the day.”
Being safe is not always an easy task, but preparation is the key when insuring your safety. Carrying pepper spray is a no hassle tool of protection that can simply be placed on a key chain, but can greatly aid you in a hostile confront ion. Another way to prepare yourself is taking self-defence classes, which can aid you in an unexpected attack. Also come up with a plan of action if a disaster were to occur think through what you would do. Then if the unfortunate event does happen you have a plan and don’t panic.
Don’t have the state of mind that nothing bad will ever happen to you because life is full of the unexpected and it always pays to be prepared for anything and everything on campus and off campus.