Today: Feb 29, 2024

Campus crime low compared to New Haven’s crime statistics

Sean Meenaghan — Photo Editor
Southern Police responding to a car accident on the corner of Cresent and Fitch Street.

MELISSA CHICKER — News Writer

The Federal Bureau of Investigation Crime Statistics released last May the most dangerous cities in the United States, with New Haven sitting in fourth place as the U.S. city with the largest violent crime to population of 100,000 people or more. Last year, New Haven did not even crack the top 10, landing at 18, with Hartford at 19.

The nation experienced a 5.5 percent decrease in the number of violent crimes and a 2.8 percent decline in the number of property crimes in 2010 when compared with data from the FBI Crime Statistics in 2009. New Haven itself reported a reduction in violent crime from 2,195 incidents in 2009 to 1,624 in 2010. The city also had the eighth-highest robbery rate, with 27 this year alone and fourth highest rate in assault. This year, according to the FBI statistics, has also seen the murder rate double from last year.

While the city is experiencing a decline in violent reports, Southern’s Campus Police make it their mission and job to keep its students and faculty safe.

“It is most important to put out a timely warning to the campus community. We want to engage the community to be another set of eyes and ears for us,” said Chief Joseph Dooley, who has been Southern’s chief of police since 2006 and a police officer for the last 25 years.

Campus Police makes sure the campus is always well informed using the SCSU Alert System  and The Siren/Public Address System that notifies students through email, text message, or voice message of any incidents or warnings taking place on or near campus students and faculty should be aware of.

“I feel safe with the police station on campus. It is important especially because New Haven has a high crime rate,” said Kayla Tartino, junior English major. “They are always patrolling and it makes me feel like they care about our safety.”

While many students believe the safety on campus is adequate, some believe it could be better.

“I don’t like how they only send alerts through email or text, because some students don’t check their emails and many do not get the text alerts,” said Jayme Reudewicz, junior anthropology major. “Some universities also have lockdowns. I think we should do that instead of letting students walk around on campus if there is something serious happening around Southern.”

Sean Meenaghan — Photo Editor
SCSU Chief of Police Joseph Dooley

Last week, the Campus Police also put together a safety program for students in Farnham Hall called Flashpoint, a video coupled with questions and answers, leaning towards preventing violence. The next presentation, taking place this week, will be called Shots Fired, teaching students what to do if violence on campus happens.

“It is not just words it is our actions. We are responding, we are not waiting we are not a security system we are an organized full-service police department in the state of Connecticut just like every other police department,” said Dooley, who said the police department is working on several initiatives to make students feel safer on campus by using the newest technology is security, making sure they have the proper equipment to do so, and have a great working relationship with both Hamden and New Haven Police Departments.

Southern also offers many ways to keep students safe including blue emergency blue phones, campus shuttles, campus escort walking services, the R.I.D.E.S. Program, which offer students a safe mode of transportation for any reason with no questions asked, and the Silent Witness Program, where students, faculty, and staff can report any suspicious campus crime activity they may see and be kept anonymous. More information can be found on Southern Police Departments main page on the Southern website or in an emergency call 911.

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