Student relationships with local law enforcement

FAMU police car
Photo submitted by Princeton Studstill

Over the years the safety concerns of students and local residents have become a priority for law enforcement in Leon County. The Tallahassee Democrat released a story of crime looming over Leon County and reported Tallahassee to have the highest crime rate in the state of Florida. 

Megan Potts, a senior English major noticed a change back when she was a freshmen.

“When I first arrived on campus back in 2014 to now in 2018, I have noticed a change with the presence of FAMU PD on campus because there are way more students now,” said Potts. “Seeing them more helped me begin to personally acknowledge them because a lot of them are nice and friendly for the most part.”  

Florida A&M University’s Police Department decided to take an initiative to become more visible on campus to help decrease campus crimes. 

A previous article was released in 2017 by stating the crime rate overall in Tallahassee was the highest in the state. But despite those numbers within the same report the crime rate on FAMU’s campus had decreased nearly fifty-percent. 

In comparison to Florida State University, a crime report was released by the FBI in 2017 with the overall rate for Tallahassee increasing along with on campus crimes. Based off the crime report FSU is one of the leading universities in terms of rapes, property crimes, larceny/thefts, and car thefts. 

Trenovia Hunter, 911 telecommunicator of the Tallahassee police department said that she receives more reports from FSU versus FAMU.

“During my time working for the Tallahassee Police department, I’ve received more calls from FSU students than I do FAMU students,” said Hunter. “Typically, when we do receive calls from students it usually deals with either medical attention needed or suspicious activity within their area and they report whatever they see.” 

Law enforcement has indicated certain areas as “hotspots” for criminal activity. The areas listed include but are not limited to N. Monroe/Tharpe St., W. Tennessee St./Macomb St., Lake Bradford Rd./ Jackson Bluff Rd. 

The surrounding areas listed as a hotspot are within a 10-15-mile radius of both universities. 

With both FAMU and FSU having an open campus, the universities police department are faced with a daily obligation to ensure the safety of all students, faculty, staff, and visitors permitted to be on campus are accounted for.  

FAMU Police department has made great efforts to gain the trust of the students and build a safety net between the student body and law enforcement. 

La’Queena Ward, a fourth-year social work major shared insight on her experience with FAMU PD.  

“As a social work student, I have been around to the rough sides of town to analyze certain behaviors within a specific demographic and it’s not a safe environment at all,” said Ward. “But whenever I come back on campus I never feel unsafe and I can really appreciate FAMU PD for being on campus as much as they are. If anything was to ever happen I know they’re accessible.”