FAMUPD increases safety

After several weeks of investigation, the FAMU police department has yet to apprehend the suspects responsible for six computers stolen out of Jones Hall.

“The case is open because the matter is still under investigation,” said Calvin Ross, Chief of Police for FAMU police department.

“It’s unfortunate that something like this had to happen,” said David Washington, professor of biology.

“Our main concern now is to make sure that we implement preventive measures to ensure that incidents like this don’t happen again.”

Occurrences such as this have left students and faculty to question whether or not university facilities are as safe as they appear to be.

“I see police officers frequently around campus, but not as much when we have events like Homecoming,” said Ashley Rowden, 19, a sophomore architecture student from Atlanta.

“We’ve added officers on bike patrol working different shifts to increase their visibility, especially on the set,” Ross said.

According to Ross, the police department and the university administration have been working together to implement preventive programs in order to boost campus security.

“As the (student) population has grown, it is necessary to maintain that growth with increased police presence,” Ross said.

He also said that the FAMU PD has been trying to ensure that students feel safe living on campus as well as going to class.

“We’ve been working cooperatively with housing to have officers at the dorms at night. That added visibility has made students feel safer,” Ross said.

Students may have noticed that more blue light systems have been added, lighting around the parking lots and dormitories have improved, there are additional officers on the streets during night hours.

“I have seen more blue light posts around campus that I know weren’t there before,” said Stephanie Grainer, a junior from Baltimore.

The 21-year-old engineering student would like to see more improvements.

“There needs to be a little bit more campus lighting, especially when walking to parking lots.”

Ross said that other institutions have added initiatives to their security programs that he’d like FAMU to adapt as well. One measure would be for students to purchase a key chain used as a “tracking” system that would allow a student in danger to push the button on the device, and send a signal to local police.

“From there police would be able to locate the victim, not just from the location where the attack may have occurred, but where the person may have moved to in the event that they had to escape,” Ross said.

Ross said that the cost is only $20 at Florida State, and FAMU is currently looking into how much it will cost for students.

He also encourages students to take a proactive role in their security as well with the Identification System. This system is designed so that students can put signature labels like bright colored tabs with their names written on, or get their names engraved into things like televisions, CD players, and other items.

“If something personal is stolen out of a person’s room or out of a facility on campus, it would help if the person could put some type of personal identification on the item,” Ross said. “It would help us get their possessions back to them as fast as possible.”

Although initiatives can be incorporated in any type of institution, it’s important for everyone to take a personal approach to their own safety.

Ross said: “If everyone works together cooperatively, we can all have a hand in making sure that this campus is as safe as possible.”