Berkeley has witnessed a quick and recent rise in crime – there were two shootings this week alone. One of these took place around the corner of my home while I was inside, which is utterly terrifying to me and anyone who lives close. What is more terrifying is the fact that whoever fired the gun is still out there and has the power to strike again at any innocent bystander.
There have been at least 25 confirmed incidents of gunfire in Berkeley in 2019 alone, and nearly half of those occurred near campus and student housing. This number does not include the recent reports of gunfire.
Students, faculty, and other individuals in Berkeley are encouraged to be cautious when walking around the city, especially Southside. The most important thing to remember is to be aware of your surroundings. The University of California Police Department (UCPD) encourages people to travel in groups rather than alone. Students are also encouraged to utilize the nightly services such as BEARWalk and the night safety shuttle.
The high crime rates in Berkeley despite numerous efforts to minimize them spurs fear among students. Even when they walk with others, students feel unsafe walking to and from campus. Tyler Smart, a sophomore at Cal, would wonder during his walk home to his dorm that “if anything happens right now, will anyone know?”
Although UCPD promotes these safety services and tips, Berkeley remains a city notorious for its crime. Other tips to stay as safe as possible include avoiding dark or shaded areas, follow nighttime routes provided by the school, and dial the emergency number for UCPD when seeking immediate help.