A bomb threat at Virginia Commonwealth University raises brows and brings out opinions about safety on campus.
Around 1 PM on September 24, 2012,
students and faculty were notified of a bomb threat on VCU Monroe Park Campus.
While some students were panicking, the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Academic Affairs, James Mays, took the threat with ease. “I just saw the alert about ten minutes ago, but I trust the VCU police. I’m not worried about it. It actually didn’t really cross my mind. Of course if I see anything suspicious around it will police know, but other than that I’m not worried,” said Mays.
Even though Mays was not too concerned about the bomb threat, he spoke on campus safety and how students can protect themselves from being another crime alert. “I feel very safe, but of course you have to be smart” said Mays, “If students are around late especially at night they should defiantly walk in groups. I think students need to take advantage of the security escort service, I’m not too sure if they are aware of everything that is available, you just have to be smart like I said.”
VCU Student Escort Service was designed to pick and drop off students and staff members to their destination anywhere on Monroe Park Campus between the hours of 5 PM to 8 AM.
“I have never taken security escort before but I want to, I heard it’s so convenient plus it’s safe,” said Candace Jamison, VCU student.
Like Jamison, not every student has taken VCU Escort Service, but students do have other ways prevent crimes that take place on campus.
“I have not had any crime problems so far, I feel like I try to avoid risky situations especially at night I always have someone with me, walk in lighted pathways and aware of my surroundings,” says Jamison.
Though crime is something people have no control over, VCU police are trying to bring numbers down and improve safety.
This fall, VCU police introduced G4S Security to the university. G4S Security is one of the top security providers in the country. The G4S security officers provide safety while patrolling the campus between the hours of 9 PM to 2 PM. However even with the extra security, some students still feel that VCU Police can do better.
“The safety is okay, there are a lot of police but they still aren’t doing enough. If I knew that there was this many crimes that took place on campus and close to campus I probably wouldn’t have come to VCU,” said Samantha Shaw a junior from Fairfax, Virginia.
Since Shaw is already here she explains how she can’t reverse her decision but she takes full advantage of all the services that VCU provides her from security escort to the yellow emergency call boxes placed on campus.
Shaw is not the only
student who feels like VCU police can do better. VCU senior Demetrius Entzminger gives VCU police on a scale of one to ten, a five.
“I feel like I am not safe on campus, every weekend someone is getting robbed, VCU police have to step it up,” said Entzimnger. He personally feels that VCU police need to worry about the bigger crimes and not the insignificant ones.
“They need to stop worrying about the petty stuff like people littering, the other day I saw someone litter, I watched the cop stop him. There could have been something else going on. I believe that the amount time they waste on little stuff, that time can be used towards stopping robberies or assault,” said Entizimger.
Crime in Richmond City is unlikely to come to a complete end, however VCU Police continues to help decrease crime rates and provide safety for students and staff on campus.