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Tech, Ruston police aid in campus safety

This item originally appeared in the December 9, 2004 issue of The Tech Talk.

Tech has been shaken by the recent crimes committed on campus and in Ruston.

The university faculty and staff are doing everything they can to ensure students' safety.

Dr. Jim King, vice president of student affairs, said the crimes are uncharacteristic of Tech's campus and of Ruston.

We recognize [Tech's campus is] not immune to crime, King said.

King and Tech Police Chief Stephen Quinnelly agree one way to prevent crimes from happening is for students to report suspicious activity to the police.

Before the armed robberies, King said, Tech already had several programs in place to help protect students.

The university police are well prepared and their 24-hour presence on campus keeps students safe, King said.

The student walkers on campus are the university polices's eyes and ears. They may go unnoticed, but they are keeping the campus safe by reporting suspicious activity.

Utilizing the escort golf carts provided by the Student Government Association is another way the university is helping students remain safe.

Tech has also been educating students in residence halls with safety programs.

Through these programs, students learn the importance of not propping doors open, and not opening the door for others who do not belong in the residence hall.

Crime stoppers, public memos and mass e-mails keep students, faculty, staff and members of the community aware of crimes being committed on campus.

Since the robberies, Tech has employed two new police officers on foot patrol.

Quinnelly said students should use common sense to stay safe. He said students should always lock their car and room door and never open the door for someone he or she does not know

He also said to not leave a key under the doormat or in the mailbox.

Students can also protect themselves by walking in groups through campus, especially at night. Female student should always be aware of their surroundings at night and may want to invest in some form of pepper spray or mace.

Quinnelly also suggested students should record the serial number of all valuables because if done so it is easier to recover.

King and Quinnelly both said most crime stems from drugs. Therefore, if any student has any information about such activity he or she should report it immediately.

Quinnelly said students should not be afraid to report any suspicious activity.

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