By Ayana Jones
SC Staff Writer
Public safety is a major concern among college students. Whether they are living on or off campus, students want to feel secure.
Here at East Stroudsburg University, campus police play an active role in trying to ensure student safety. Despite this, however, crime is still prevalent.
According to crime report statistics, ESU has experienced high incidences of theft, burglary, vandalism, and public drunkenness since 2013. There was a Liquor Law crime number of 2,011 last year.
Universities like Kutztown, Millersville, and Shippensburg all had comparably high crime rates in offenses such as burglary, theft, and liquor laws.
Even Princeton, one of the most prestigious schools in the United States, had high rates of burglary, liquor law violations, and drug abuse.
Based on these statistics, the crime rate at ESU is not surprising, but are students feeling safe at ESU amidst such active police presence?
The University Police staff consists of seventeen armed and trained police officers, one full- and part-time security officer, and at least twenty additional student staff members.
Police presence is very much felt throughout the campus as they patrol around by motor vehicle.
Additionally, the campus has emergency boxes placed in different locations throughout campus for students to utilize. Students are able to dial the Police Department extension whenever they desire.
The officers are always willing to escort students to their dorms if they are alone or feel unsafe.
When asked about public safety on ESU’s campus, sophomore Briana Schell said, “I feel comfortable when the police are around, and they are friendly. It is great to experience not only a sense of protection, but also the warmth and friendliness coming from our campus police.”
Senior Lexie Peveraro stated, “I do feel safe with the campus police. I haven’t had any bad experiences, and seeing them always drive around campus helps me feel safer.”
In regards to the feelings of safety here on campus, another student voiced a much different opinion: “The campus police only seem to focus on traffic violations instead of actually patrolling around the campus. I sense a lack of safety when walking around the campus at night.” Perhaps our emergency campus boxes are not enough, and there is a need for a larger police presence.
In all, there seems to be mixed feelings about safety on campus. In the wake of recent events that have occurred in Monroe County, police activity has increased significantly.
It is important that students feel a sense of security while on campus.
Ensuring public safety is an important component of the college experience because it creates a more at-home atmosphere.
Home is a place where people feel sheltered and safe, and here at ESU, we want to feel that same comfort.
In the hopes of providing a safe campus experience, police will continue to improve their strategy to create a better balance in police safety. Perhaps, soon we will see more patrolling around the campus.
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