To combat Peoria crime-rates spreading to Bradley’s campus, the university has paired with Bradley University Police Department, implementing many safety initiatives, including the student patrol service.
The program currently has six walking patrollers and runs Thursday through Sunday from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. The patrollers serve as walking escorts to students, faculty and staff to on-campus and near off-campus areas.
According to BUPD Chief Brian Joschko, the student patrollers do more than provide walking company.
“When not providing escorts, the student patrol employees act as the eyes and ears of the police department by looking for and reporting suspicious behavior,” Joschko said.
Senior nursing major Ariel Casper joined the program during her sophomore year as a patroller and said she has since seen its positive impact on campus.
“With the amount of people calling us, I think everyone can see that this is a wonderful crime-prevention method,” Casper said. “It reduces the risk and the potential for crime to occur. By providing our services, we are able to promote a method of safe transportation for our students so that they do not have to feel they are putting themselves in a risky situation by walking alone or through campus in the dark.”
Joschko also said he believes the program reduces the risk of crime being committed on campus.
“Criminals are risk adverse, therefore, they will not typically commit crimes where they will likely be apprehended,” Joschko said. “The student patrol employees deter crime when they are out and patrolling the campus area.”
While Peoria overall has a high-crime rate, Joschko said initiatives like these make the Bradley environment much different.
“Bradley University’s campus is very safe,” Joschko said. “We have very little crime either on-campus or the near off-campus area. The most common crime occurring on or off campus is theft of typically unsecured and unattended property. The vast majority of those incidents could have been prevented by simply securing the stolen property.”
Casper said she believes Bradley is safe but warns students to be cautious venturing beyond Bradley boundaries.
“We all know that Peoria can absolutely be an ‘iffy’ area when it comes to safety, especially the areas surrounding campus,” Casper said. “I feel that Bradley’s campus itself, however, is very safe. I would warn students to be cautious outside of Bradley’s immediate campus.”
Other safety services available to students include the Hilltop Safety Cruiser, the Vacant House Watch program and a variety of other crime prevention and self-defense programs taught by the campus police. For more information about these services, students can contact BUPD at 309-677-2000.