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Student starts his own safety escort service

According to HuffPost News, missing black women and children are largely ignored, and the Black and Missing Foundation indicate nearly 40% of all missing people in the country are people of color.

Jordan Perkins and his campus organization Peerless Perfexion have decided to take matters into their own hands by making sure students who need assistance getting to their destination at night have the help they need.

“That’s really why I made the post; I wanted to make sure everyone was okay,” Perkins said.

An Instagram post with a little over 400 likes has sparked what may be the beginning of a university-wide student escort service in attempts to ensure the safety of students at Georgia State.

On Nov. 8, Jordan Perkins made a text post that detailed that if any women needed an escort at Georgia State, they could call or text him at any point.  

“Me and my brothers @p2_gsu are willing to make sure females at [Georgia State] are safe,” the post said.

Perkins’ Instagram post was inspired by his mother and aunt, both of whom are faculty members at Georgia State, as well as his godsister and two cousins, who also attend the university as students.

On Oct. 30, Alexis Crawford, a student at Clark Atlanta University, was reported missing. According to 11Alive, her body was found on Nov. 8 in a park off of Columbia Drive.

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“At that point, there was just so much going on around us with everything that happened at the AUC … so much sketchy stuff and no one seemed to say anything about Georgia State,” Perkins said. “I have a really big heart for my school so I said, ‘Let me just put this out there since I know I have a good following of people from Georgia State.’”

Perkins is the vice president of Peerless Perfexion, an organization that encompasses freshman mentorship, community service and stepping. 

They engage in activities around campus and collaborate with other campus organizations such as the Greeks. The brothers of Peerless Perfexion also participate in community service, such as volunteering at Hurt Park and local food banks.

“So, when I made the post originally, I was just putting it out there,” Perkins said. “Then, I was like, ‘Since I know we could get a volume of calls, let me let my brothers know too.’”

The first night, Perkins said he received a few calls, but the next day, he said he escorted several women to their destinations and even rode in an Uber with a woman who didn’t feel safe to ride alone.

“I met a girl at Grady — she goes to Georgia State but she works at Grady — and she has to walk to the train station at night,” Perkins said. “She didn’t feel good about that one night, so she called me.”

According to Perkins, Peerless Perfexion is considering starting a Georgia State safety group chat in conjunction with other campus organizations.

“Say I can’t be there to help; then, you’ll have a group chat full of people,” Perkins said.

Perkins was surprised that no one at Georgia State has spoken on recent events in the city, so he figured his organization should be the first.

“I feel like sometimes [GSUPD officers] don’t take it as serious as [students] do because we see all the creepy people around at night or throughout the day,” Perkins said.

He claims that even he and his friends have tried to use GSUPD escort services, but it hasn’t proven as effective as it should be. Perkins believes Georgia State security is not up to par with how open the campus is.

“I’ve had times where people would be like, ‘Well, we called Georgia State Police, and they don’t show up until 10 minutes later,’” he said. 

According to GSUPD Chief of Police Joseph Spillane, he has never heard the claim of GSUPD escorts not taking their job seriously. Spillane also says response time is based on having an available officer.

It is not Uber or Lyft or a taxi service,” Spillane said. “The escorts are pulled from on-duty police resources, so sometimes, they are not immediately available and handling calls.”

However, Spillane does believe students escorting each other is a good thing, as it enhances the services GSUPD already provides. According to Spillane, GSUPD urges students to travel in groups, be aware of their surroundings and to download the Livesafe app.

“We will continue to add staffing to the department, which will allow additional resources to be on the streets at any given time,” he said. “We are always looking for ways to improve.”