Crime down campus wide despite recent incidents

With recent events such as the sexual assault and several robberies reported, some students believe there is a crime crisis on campus.

However, the FAMU Police Department’s records show there has been a drop in campus crime over the last two years.

During this semester, there have been 13 arrests on campus out of 100 alleged reported crimes for illegal substance possession, warrants, driving under the influence, petty theft and grand theft.

Despite the crimes, some students say they feel safe on campus, but they still feel like the campus crime level is getting out of hand.

“I’ve heard a lot of stuff like girls getting raped, people getting pistol whipped and robbed, fights breaking out. That leads me to believe that there is crime problem,” said Terence Pittman, 20, a freshman business administration student from Jacksonville.

There are some students who feel unsure about the measures being taken for their safety.

“There was a wanted sign posted outside of the dorm entrance, and I’ve seen him on the steps outside everyday,” said Erika Long, 19, a freshman psychology student from Gainesville.

One FAMU PD officer said she believes the media is to blame for students believing there is an increase of campus crime.

“The media plays a large part in how information is distributed,” said Crime Prevention Officer Sherri Luke. “If they only report the crimes being done, that’s all the students will know.”

FAMU PD officials said it is trying to take steps to insure students that they can feel safe on campus.

“We have started a very aggressive proactive police program called Community Oriented Policing because we view FAMU campus like a small community. This is a good way to involve the students with their safety,” said Luke.

Students can also keep posted on new reports by registering online for e2Campus. This feature can be accessed through under “New FAMU alert.”

It allows students to receive crime alerts through text messages and their FAMU e-mail.

“On a college campus, communication is key so that students can be kept aware. That’s why e2Campus is something that every student should use. But they have to register for it to be effective,” Luke said.

Along with e2Campus, FAMU has received a grant to implement an emergency siren system that will sound all over campus to keep students posted on any alerts such as burglary and weather threats.

And after popular student demand, there is a women’s self-defense class that is taught.

The FAMU faculty and staff members said students can do things to stay safe.

“With spring coming and more people coming out doors, my best suggestion to students is don’t be lax in security,” said Henry Kirby, University associate vice president and dean of student affairs.

“Students should be cautious of their surroundings while walking around campus, day and night,” Kirby continued. “Make sure you keep your belongings locked up. Don’t leave valuables visible in your car because it’s things like that that tempt people to commit crimes.”

Kirby said he feels students can help each other and as well as themselves by reporting anything that looks suspicious.

“If at anytime a student sees something that looks out of the ordinary, they should call the police if they are not sure. Better safe than sorry,” Kirby said.

Although some students believe there is a campus crime crisis, they still say they generally feel safe on campus.

“I can’t say that I don’t feel safe on campus, but there is always room for improvement,” Long said.