The purpose of the SAFE team is to ensure and promote safety of students and faculty. Established in 1998, the organization is an A&S funded organization and is an umbrella organization of the FAMU Police Department.
Even though the focus is to ensure safety, Nigel Hodge, director of the SAFE team, said the members of the team are not security guards.
“We don’t have weapons and we are not trained,” said the 20-year-old junior business administration student from Nashville.
“We promote safety by being out and visible and by keeping our eyes and ears open.”
Hodge said the SAFE team takes all concerns seriously, and that they are here to serve students and faculty.
Danielle Scott, 18, was coming from the library one night and passed one of the SAFE team members. She wanted someone to walk with her to McGuinn, but no one asked her if she needed an escort.
“Somebody could have snatched me,” said the freshman general studies student from Kansas City, Mo.
“I practice in Tucker Hall with FACES modeling troupe, and now, I have to have one of my friends walk with me.”
Hodge said for every complaint he get, I get 10 accolades,”
“We are a service-oriented organization. If at any time anybody feels that we didn’t serve to our capabilities, it’s a serious problem.”
Hodge said it is possible that the SAFE team does not see everybody. He said in the instance that a student is not asked whether he or she needs an escort, he or she should bring it to the SAFE team’s attention.
“We might be on the radio or helping other students,” he said. “If when you do bring it to our attention and we still don’t escort you, then that becomes our problem.”
Despite complaints, some students feel the SAFE team is doing its job.
“I was coming from the library one night and one of the members escorted me to my car,” said Esther Davis-Venn, 20, a junior business administration student from Germantown, Md.
“I didn’t even request an escort, but I felt secure. I would definitely request their service at night, being that I am a female.”
In fall 2001, the SAFE team prevented an attempted “panty-raid.”
Hodge said that even though it may sound silly, females get raped and assaulted and sometimes things are stolen during these raids.
The SAFE team has increased its operation by an hour. It will now operate from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. to better assist students.
“We are not perfect,” Hodge said. “We are very much dedicated to serving the campus no matter the situation.”
“Safety has to be and is our top priority. There just is no compromise for it.”