Students, faculty express mixed feelings about winter break crimes

As crime around Bradley’s campus spiked while it was nearly empty this winter break, upperclassmen and faculty had mixed feelings about the state of campus safety.

Students and faculty that still receive email and text alerts about crime in the campus’ vicinity were made aware of three armed robberies and a one-car crash in which the suspect vehicle was involved in a shooting earlier that evening. These four email/text alerts arrived within a span of 12 days, along with one email stating that two robbery suspects had been apprehended.

Some upperclassmen said they aren’t shocked by the multitude of warnings anymore. When asked what he thought about the high number of crimes over break, junior accounting major Alex Mulligan said it “wasn’t too surprising.”

“I expect it at this point,” he said.

Some members of the faculty agreed. Dr. Chris Williams, founding chair of criminal justice in 2010, said the crime occurrences over break was “slightly higher in number, but not alarming.”

Thankfully, however, the numerous warnings haven’t deterred most students from taking safety precautions.

“I feel safe on the quad [during the day], but I wouldn’t recommend walking at night, like to St. James or across campus,” said Mulligan.

Junior accounting major Kaitlin Beer said she agreed.

“I don’t [walk to St James] at night, I drive,” Beer said.

While Beer said she agreed she downplayed the importance of the emails because of their frequency, she also said she felt safer away from campus this break.

“I’m glad I wasn’t here,” said Beer.

Chief Joschko of the BUPD said while the number of alerts was higher over break, the total crime occurrences actually decreased.

“In general terms, there was a reduction of crime over the Winter Break period,” Joschko said. “There were two off campus business robberies that occurred within the BUPD patrol area. No homes on the [Vacant House Watch program] list reported burglaries or other issues; however, there were two home burglaries reported to the BUPD over break.”

Since the Vacant House Watch program began in 2010, Joschko said the number of home and apartment burglaries have declined severely.

“Three burglaries were reported to the BUPD over the 2011-2012 break, which was the first year of the Vacant House Watch Program,” he said. “Over the 2010-2011 winter break 13 burglaries reported to the BUPD which was up from 12 burglaries over the 2009-2010 winter break.”

Sophomore graphic design major Jenna Muhs said she believed the alerts was dismissed because most students weren’t on campus.

“The fact is that we got four safety alerts in the span of two weeks,” said Muhs. “If [more] students had been here, everyone would have been [extremely alarmed.]”