How Safe is Public Safety?

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BY Laura Green

Staff Reporter

Sacred Heart University’s campus sits in between the towns of Trumbull, Fairfield, and Bridgeport. While many students spend most of their time on or around campus, do they feel like they are in a safe environment?

Freshman Chris Gale said, “Even though I live off campus, I would feel safer living on campus. Living on campus seems safer because you have to scan into every building and there are always so many people around who are able to look out for your stuff.”

The university’s Department of Public Safety provides students with emergency contacts, notification systems, safety escorts, and blue-light emergency call boxes around campus (although there are current no call boxes on West Campus).

“I think Public Safety does a good job making sure everyone is safe. When you live in a dorm they get to know each kid, so they know if people who aren’t usually there are there,” said senior Jimmy Kalomiris.

However, not all students feel like their safety is the top priority on campus.

Sophomore Caitlin Olivetti said, “I think if Public Safety worried more about the safety of students instead of motor vehicle parking then everyone would benefit more from them.”

As a commuter, junior Dylan Molster also takes precautions while he is on campus.

“I have a bunch of classes that are late at night and even though I trust Public Safety and people on campus, I get nervous with the idea of random people not from school taking stuff from my car,” said Molster. “There are not really enough Public Safety officers in the parking lots.”

Many upperclassmen tend to live off-campus their junior and senior year, like junior Drew Homola.

“If you are smart about keeping your stuff locked, like your windows and doors when you or your housemates are not around, then you should not worry. My housemates and I always makes sure our cars and house doors are locked,” said Homola.

Some students feel that campus is generally a safe place, but outside of campus is where safety may be in question.

Senior Jack Pardue said, “Most of the time I feel pretty safe around school, but I think that Main Street late at night can be sketchy. I do not really like going to food places like Merritt Canteen alone when it’s late.”

Courtney Charbonneau, a junior who lives in an off-campus house, experienced a break-in at her house two months ago before Christmas break.

“My roommates and I came home after class one day and noticed that our back door had been opened and the lock was messed up,” said Charbonneau. “We immediately called the police and they said they were not surprised that someone had broken in because they probably knew Christmas break was coming soon.”

On Feb. 12, there were multiple break-ins at the University’s Oakwood Apartment Complex. The break-ins and robberies at Oakwood included a stolen car and missing personal items from multiple cars.

“I can literally see Oakwood right from my house, so knowing people who have actually gotten things stolen from there is really scary,” said junior Emma Sanders.

Sanders and her roommates have been taking extra precautions to make sure their house and cars are safe in the area.

“After hearing about the theft at Oakwood we decided it was time to finally set up our alarm system. We have always had one but I guess we needed to be scared into installing it,” said Sanders.

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