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May 4, 2015

Security escorts make staff and students safer

By Abigail Burton


A walk to work before the sun rises in downtown Cleveland is not always the safest option, but for Erin Black, a full-time school schedule makes that her only option.

Black, a sophomore marketing major, now uses the resources offered by Cleveland State University security and has a security escort walk her to her job, about half of a mile from where she resides.

“It isn’t too far of a walk, but living in downtown where crime is naturally higher, especially when it is dark out, it is definitely the safest option,” Black said.

Black is one of many students at Cleveland State who uses the security escorts to make their commutes around campus safer.

The security escorts are just a phone call away every day of the year, at any hour. After you call, the security office will send an escort to you to walk, and sometimes drive you, wherever you need to go.

All escorts are constantly connected to the Cleveland State Police through walkie-talkies. This allows the police to keep them updated on all crime and potential crime in the area, according to Brian Boccieri, a security escort.

“When we escort people, we have our walkie-talkies on, which are letting out constant police reports, so if someone were going to approach us, I feel like that would stop them,” Boccieri said. “Also, our green attire makes us pretty obvious to spot.”

Serving as the eyes and ears on campus, the three to four security escorts sport bright green hats and matching jackets that both say “security escort” in bold, white print.

Boccieri has been wearing the green escort uniform proudly for two years and feels that the outfit and the escort’s presence can make all of the difference when it comes to safety.

Another benefit of the escorts is that when an alleged crime occurs on campus, all escorts are given a description of the suspect and look for them throughout campus. Security is enforced well at this university, but not utilized to its fullest potential by staff and students, Boccieri said.

“Graduate students and staff are the most frequent calls that we get, most other students don’t utilize us very much,” Boccieri said.

One staff member who is a frequent user of the security escorts is Gloria Jenkins, a cashier at Viking Marketplace in the Student Center.

“I call them every Monday, Thursday and Friday,” Jenkins said. “They walk, and even sometimes drive me to my car and always make sure it starts before they leave.”

After hearing a story of a woman that was attacked in a parking garage five years ago, Jenkins has trusted them to get her safely to her car, parked about six blocks from her job.

“They are very easy to talk to and the conversation always flows and before I know it, I am at my car and ready to head home,” Jenkins said. “They even help me clean the snow off of my car when it is snowy outside.”

Thankful that Cleveland State offers them, Jenkins often tells friends and students about the escorts and said that she is very grateful for them.

Also grateful for the escorts and that she doesn’t have to walk to work alone before the sun comes up, Erin Black recommends the escorts to her peers.

“The escort service is something that all students should use to avoid any crime,” Black said. “It was definitely a smart move to start using them and I will continue to as long as I am here.”

Cleveland State students, staff and faculty can request a security escort 24 hours of the day at (216) 687-2020.