Students’ safety concerns growing over campus crime

After the Aug. 27 Woodruff Park shooting and multiple armed robberies on campus, Georgia State students say they are more concerned now about their campus safety than ever.

In 2013 there were 11 reported robberies at Georgia State and three in 2014, according to data provided by Georgia State police.

Sukhpreet Singh, biology major, said he has noticed an increase in the security and police presence around campus and the park area.

“I just noticed about four officers in one spot just chilling, so maybe not the best security but they are there,” he said.

According to GSUPD’s Sergeant Ware, after the Woodruff incident, Georgia State’s security was never breached and remains the same as before.

Some students, like computer science major Micheal Butler, said they were even more insecure about walking through the park.

“There are always so many people at the park. It was scary before but now it’s more scary,” he said.

David Taylor, university police officer, said the shooting was technically near campus, but the location is not a part of Georgia State.

“However, we are in the park often patrolling and that is where we do a lot of our directed patrolling on the campus,” he said.

Taylor suggested the best way to prevent similar situations like the one at the Woodruff Park incident is to stay alert. He also said university officers use their bikes around campus and a few wear plain clothes to blend in with the population.

Taylor said their strategy is to designate more officers where there are reports of higher crime and use crime prevention officers around campus. Two to five officers patrol on bikes with regular patrol officers each shift.

“Officers are on their bikes around the campus to catch dope, alcohol or any other negative influence that might be around the campus,” he said.

Student Tiffany Cooper said her biggest campus safety concern is that the buildings are easily accessible to the public.

“[This] past summer I saw a man sleeping in University Center who was definitely off the streets. This experience was a reality check for me that anybody can enter campus buildings,” she said.

Georgia State’s security can improve but isn’t as efficient as some would prefer, according to student Uroosa Khan. Khan said the police escorts are also no longer offering their services to students who live in locations such as City Plaza.

“I work until 11 p.m. in the student center. I would have to argue with a dispatcher every night before he drops me off to my apartment,” she said.

“What is a girl supposed to do when they refuse to drop her off at night?” she added.

Khan also said she does not see any improvement in security after the incident in the park.

Sergeant Naseer Dhamin of GSUPD said the university has a safe campus.

“We are here to protect you,” Dhamin said. “This is a safe campus.”