Editorial: Cops and robbers

Illustration by Erik Reid | The Signal
Illustration by Erik Reid  | The Signal
Illustration by Erik Reid | The Signal

So here we are again. I know some might be tired of talking about this situation, believe us, we’re frustrated too. We’re sure your notifications have blown up recently from the recent robbery on campus. Either from the university or your family checking in on you.

After two more robberies in the Library, we ask when enough is enough? After the last armed robbery, the Georgia State Police Department (GSUPD)  said they would increase patrol of the library.

However, where were the “plain clothes” police officers when two students were robbed at gunpoint on two different floors in Library North Thursday. It is crazy that someone cannot go to the library in the morning without having to worry about getting robbed, but that is, unfortunately, the situation we are in at Georgia State.

But we have to play the Devil’s Advocates as well. Who saw these guns? The victims? No one else? So at the risk of sounding like we’re victim-blaming, we need to ask, how did they know the assailant was armed? Did he flash chrome? Or could he have been pointing a finger-gun under the cover of his jacket pocket? The shock and adrenaline rush can intoxicate and distort perception. Could you identify a gun concealed beneath a sweatshirt?

This scrutiny — that which we bask in — brings to mind a thousand questions regarding the balance of student freedom and safety. We live in Atlanta. It’s not all sunshines and rainbows Downtown.

So when we’re faced with three instances of possible gun control lapses on campus, is that indicative of a burgeoning issue within our 30-something-thousand student population? Even if these robberies were all committed by the different culprits, should we drop a pretty penny for new security measures?

Mark Becker: I have authorized University Police to:

Double the number of police officers on each shift patrolling campus.

Take steps to secure all exits and entrances, including having uniformed officers at each entrance checking the Panther IDs of all faculty, staff and students.

Install additional security cameras at the library.

Temporarily close the library to the public while we put new security measures in place.

Hold campus safety forums to hear concerns from our community.

We tweeted out a poll on Jan. 28 ,“After robberies, Pres. Becker: ‘#GSUPD will double cops on campus, close library to public.’ http://owl.li/XEzjD.”

With 39 total votes, 79 percent said “Good move, Becker” while 21 percent said “Bad move, Becker.”

But will this solve the problem? The library is one of the few buildings on Georgia State’s campus that needs a valid student I.D. for entry. it’s also a spot in where many students expect to be the safest. Will students be safer or will they continue to walk into the library scared? What other measures will be taken for the remaining buildings?

Email all responses to signaleditor@gmail.com.