Two shootings in two weeks? Maybe you need to read this.
The Crime Prevention Unit (CPU) and the Georgia State University Police Department (GSUPD) offered some tips that can help students stay safe on campus.
Eric Aguiar, a CPU officer, and Rodney Treadwell, the Crime Suppression Unit (CSU) commander, discussed with The Signal how safety is ensured on campus and shared advice on how best to stay safe.
“Ensuring the safety of students and individuals on campus is a ‘public effort’,” Aguiar said. To Aguiar, that public effort stems from the relationship between students, staff and residents with the GSUPD.
“Chief [Spillane] is doing a great job of establishing relationships with the students through crime prevention classes like the ‘Fight to Flight’ self defense class,” Aguiar said.
The goal for both the CPU and CSU is to provide awareness about crime in general and aid students with the tools needed to remain safe on campus.
“Classes help ensure that students are educated on certain laws and behaviors that will help them identify crime along with knowing when something is a crime,” Aguiar said.
Crime prevention classes are free of charge for Georgia State students, faculty and alumni.
According to Georgia State’s Annual Campus Security and Fire Safety Reports, Georgia State has the largest campus police department in the state, with 127 police officers across all six metro Atlanta campuses.
“Building police presence is also key to ensuring safety on campus,” Aguiar said. “With the multitude of divisions offered by GSUPD, there is always an officer near when help is needed.”
GSUPD insists that individuals should always be aware of their surroundings.
According to GSUPD’s Safety and Security Tips and Annual Safety Report, students should not become immersed in loud music through their headphones or walk with their head down.
Emergency call boxes are intended to be accessible whenever a student may feel unsafe—except for when several of them are out of order, like what happened in February of last semester. Call boxes are located in parking lots, parking decks and plaza areas. Other resources, such as having a safety escort, seek to ensure the safety of Georgia State students.
Aguiar said it’s important to take notice of details when a crime occurs to accurately identify potential suspects to the police.
“When giving a tip or witnessing a crime, don’t give descriptions of clothing that could be easily changed. Things to think about are the shoes, tattoos, facial hair and stuff like that,” he said.
His advice is to also to “stick to your schedule.” If your schedule is to go to the library, don’t stray from your plans and make sure at least one other person is aware of your whereabouts.
GSUPD actively encourages students to use their LiveSafe app and report suspicious activity. Students should also check their email regularly for updates for on campus crime and crime prevention.