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February 28, 2013

Campus safety on the rise

By Gabby Hart

Cleveland State University police have made major strides at preventing and putting a stop to crimes around campus. Reports show that crime rates this year have dropped immensely since last year and the years before. This might have a lot to do with the multiple resources that campus safety offers and the fact that students are actually using these resources and reporting crimes through these outlets.

Blue Light for Emergency AlarmsOne of these resources is campus watch. Campus watch is made up of Cleveland State students and faculty, similar to a neighborhood watch. Campus watch meets quarterly to discuss new ideas and to give information to police. The group contains about 30 to 40 active members, so even when police aren’t watching, campus watch is.

Another great service Cleveland State utilizes is the Blue Light Emergency phone. These phones are located outdoors around campus in parking lots and places where students can easily find themselves alone. The phone has only one button, and when that button is pressed it connects students directly to the Cleveland State police station. Police can then track the location immediately and report to the scene. If a student feels in danger this is much quicker than using a cell phone.

Last, but certainly not least, Cleveland State offers an on-campus escort service that is available to students and teachers 24 hours a day and seven days a week.

Officer Pettrey is the crime prevention officer for Cleveland State police; she also heads the escort service. She states that on average about 20 escorts are performed per week. And although most of the people using this resource are females, Pettrey says there are males who take advantage of the escort service too. “The purpose of the escort service is to have someone with them that has direct radio connection with police,” Pettrey said.

The escorts are sometimes given by Cleveland State Police officers and security guards, but for the most part the escorts are given by employed Student Community service officers, also known as CSOs. CSOs are the designated night-time safety escorts and can be found wearing orange shirts or jackets. All of the CSOs are required to pass a background check before being employed. CSOs are also responsible for bike patrols and patrols of the campus where they monitor the building and innerlinks. With the exception of dorms, CSOs can be found on campus just as long as campus buildings are operating.

Cleveland State police recommends that students never walk alone, but that if the need arises that they call (216) 687-2020 to request an escort. To join or get more information Cleveland State’s safety services visit the Cleveland State Police website.