Student safety in question at the GSU decks

For an open campus in downtown, you would think there would be maximum security to protect the students. Cases of armed robberies around the Downtown campus, however, seem to be increasing by the day.

As is, Atlanta is one of the most unsafe in the U.S.; it gets worse when we have the armed and educated among us. Students who are hell-bent on making fellow students’ lives hell.

They warn you about the city during orientation; however, they fail to mention that the suspects could be among us. Over the past few weeks, there have been cases of armed robberies around the school parking lots, some resulting in excessive damage, which makes me question how much emphasis the school is putting on security in the parking lots.

About a month ago, the Georgia State University Police Department received a call from a female Georgia State student who had apparently been robbed in the Blue parking lot. The Blue Lot is one of the most populated parking lots on campus because it is free as long as the student has their parking pass. The student was robbed off her bookbag and sustained head injuries. 

William Holley, a Georgia State student and digital editor at The Signal, had his car broken into while in the G Deck. This lead him to replace hundreds of dollars worth of belongings, despite paying for the sense of security the parking deck offers. To park in the decks cost $5 a day with a valid parking pass. How we still get robbed after paying additional money is still an enigma.

Although the school has a lot of attendants at every lot during the day, they are ignorant of the fact that students could be the prime suspects. The lot attendants are not enough to ensure maximum security because they are neither prepared to deal with criminal activities nor can they watch what happens throughout the deck as they are solely on duty.

In the Blue Lot, which is more of an open field with hundreds of cars, there happens to be one police on duty at a time. With its terrain and location, it is almost impossible to imagine just one police officer trying to manage the whole lot. This makes the Blue Lot susceptible to criminal activities that are already taking place.

When asked to comment about it, Joseph Spillane, the GSUPD chief of police stated that “There has only been one robbery in the Blue Lot in 2019. We have not had any issues in the Blue Lot in 2019 and there have not been multiple crimes there, only the one robbery. There is one officer in the Blue Lot however there are several officers that are on patrol and drive-thru the lots frequently. These include the Motorcycle Unit, Crime Suppression Unit and regular patrol units. There is only one officer there because one officer is adequate to patrol the parking lot.” 

He added that since the incident in the lot a month ago, the department has added an officer on patrol in the Blue Lot. And this makes me question why they would wait until it all goes south for them to act on it.

The lack of adequate security measures like cameras in the parking lots made it even harder to keep up with these criminals because the police had nothing to look at for leads. If they will not increase security personnel, the use of secondary security measures such as cameras should help end this cycle of robbery.