SCSU Police assure safety after incident


Alex PalmieriNews Writer

Deputy Chief Philip J. Pessina said Southern’s campus is secure and well protected at all times.

“Our responsibility is to keep a safe campus,” said Pessina, “but we cannot do it unless we have by-in from the students.”

On Jan. 25 on Wintergreen Avenue, a driver turned onto a crosswalk while students were on the walking on the street. The driver opened his coat and appeared to have a gun.

Pessina said to not worry about campus safety. If it was not for the students who told the police department, he said they would have no shot at the case. But because Pessina said communication is one of the biggest parts to solving cases, the investigation is still ongoing.

“In this case, had these students not reported it,” said Pessina, “think about it- we would never had known that this incident happened.

Since the students told the police department about the incident, it was possible for the investigation to happen. Pessina said communication is the is a major factor that contributes to solving a case. Pessina added information that students or faculty give the department is major because they rely on it in attempt to solve a case.

“This individual took a right turn on red,” said Pessina. “He then pulled over. Then whether he intended to try to intimidate the students, or whether there were words exchanged, is really irregardless.”

Pessina said the the students gave a good description of the vehicle and did the best they could in order to report the incident. Because of that, Pessina said there should be no issue with safety on campus as long as communication stays a top priority.

Joana Teixeira, a junior political science major, said she still feels safe on campus as well. Due to the incident that happened the other week, Teixeria said nothing came of it, so there is no reason for anyone to be worried about on campus safety.

“He didn’t do anything,” said Teixeria. “I mean he showed a gun but he didn’t fire it. It could have possibly not even have been real. It could have been an airsoft gun or something.”

Teixeria is not worried about the possibility of another incident because no matter what happens, she said  the campus is overall safe.

Trevor Palmer, a sophomore communications major, said the incident does not impact the way he feels on campus. Palmer said he still feels safe regardless of the situation because the law enforcement on campus is good.

“I still  pretty safe,” said Palmer. “The police officers here are very nice, they’re very concerned, they do the work well.”

If another incident like this did occur on campus, Palmer said it would not change his mind about on campus safety. There are crimes everyday and Palmer said as long as the police officers continue to do their job to the best of their ability, Southern should be a safe community.

“I’m pretty much always going to feel safe here,” said Palmer. “[They] do very well. They’re always around patrolling.”

Photo Credit: Southern News stock photo

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