In response to the string of crime around campus in the past few weeks, a campus safety forum was held on Monday to inform, educate and address student concerns and ideas. The Student Senate Campus Safety and Security Committee hosted the event with the Bradley Police Department (BUPD) in the Garrett Center to a crowd of students and administration.
“Safety on campus is a top priority,” said Bradley University Chief of Police Brian Joschko.
Joschko said, in reference to the recent armed robberies on campus, the BUPD didn’t have officers in the right place at the right time. He also said the police who were patrolling the areas arrived at the scenes immediately after the robberies occurred.
“Our police on duty that night took the robberies very personal,” he said. “We think of it as a lot more than a job when we are out there protecting our students.”
The BUPD has recently increased their presence on campus and have been working with the Peoria police to increase patrolling in this area, said Joschko.
“We have assigned police to specific areas on both foot and bicycle,” he said. “Our police are required to get out of their car and walk around campus to make their presence known.”
Joschko also said the department is installing the first visible security camera on campus on the Alumni Quad. He said there are several cameras on campus, but this will be the first one on an emergency phone pole.
The Bradley police are doing everything they can to protect the students on campus, but they cannot spend time patrolling for crime when they are dealing with alcohol issues, Joschko said.
“Alcohol on campus is a serious concern and absolutely an issue,” he said. “Our goal isn’t to write tickets for underage drinking; it’s to limit those issues on campus so we can focus on campus crime. Safety is a shared responsibility.”
The Bradley Police Department is also currently working on improving off-campus lighting. Joschko said it is one of their priorities right now and Bradley is involved with the surrounding neighborhoods in joint efforts to minimize crime in the area.
“We are all concerned,” said Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs David Glassman. “From the top of the administration through the rest of the Bradley staff.”
Some students also said they are concerned about the recent crimes on campus, but said they feel positive about the police efforts to minimize crime.
“The officers are doing a good job,” said senior mechanical engineering major Claire Vogel. “I just wish, as students, there was something more we could do to help.”
The BUPD is currently working to establish a Safety Committee which will be composed of Bradley students, administration and student organizations. The goal of the committee is to gain a good variety of student opinions on campus to help the police department prevent any future crime on campus.
“Be aware of your surroundings and what’s going on around you,” said Joschko. “If you see something, say something.”
If students see anything that makes them feel uncomfortable, Joschko said they should call 911 or the Bradley Police Department at 309-677-2000. The BUPD can also be contacted for student escorts, from anywhere on campus to student residences, at any time.