Police promote safety at Southern
BATON ROUGE - The Southern University Police Department celebrated safety on campus with an event for students the first night classes were back in session.
"We are going all out to make sure that they understand that we are here for them. That we are just a phone call away. We are just a unit away. They can flag the guys down. I encourage the guys to talk to them at any given time," says Southern University Police Chief Ronald Stevens.
Hundreds of students gathered near the on-campus housing complex to eat, dance and learn about safety initiatives Monday night. Some students said they also noticed officers checking student identification on their first day back, a new safety measure for the school.
"I feel safe, because I don't have to worry about no strangers going on campus to do no harm to me," said freshman Bernard Tucker.
"I do like that they are cracking down and that they are monitoring both gates a lot more effectively," said sophomore Shante Harvey.
Emergency call boxes are also all over campus. Southern can issue text message alerts, and even call parents in the case of an emergency.
According to Southern Police, the school saw an increase in some crimes from 2009 to 2010. Robberies increased from 1 to 11, aggravated assaults increased from 2 to 3, and burglaries increased from 10 to 17. Vehicle thefts, meanwhile, decreased from 7 to 2.
Stevens said they were still preparing statistics from 2011, which he believed would show those numbers going back down.