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Students seem unaware of campus safety measures

Many students remain uninformed of the security measures the University Police Department has put into place.
“I don’t know much about what the police do for security around here,” said junior advertising and marketing major Bronson Good. “I feel like it’s not prevalent, but it’s important.”
But University Police Chief Dave Baer said many measures are utilized to enforce safety.
“Besides the officers and equipment, there is a lot of security available,” he said. “There are close to 80 emergency phones designed to allow students access to the Peoria Police Department.”
Once a call is made it goes straight to the PPD and the location is displayed on their computers, Baer said. All conversations are recorded and Bradley officers are immediately dispatched. If additional staff is needed, Peoria police officers will also arrive as well as an ambulance.
The phones are spread out all around campus, in parking decks, by greek houses and the St. James apartment complex.
Baer said another aspect of campus security is the escort program. The service consists of walking or driving faculty members or students to designated areas in the evenings.
Good said he thinks the escort program is a good idea.
“It gets creepy around here at night,” he said. “I don’t think I would ever call anyone to walk me across campus but I think people should take advantage of that opportunity.”
Junior elementary education major Meredith Hurford said she has yet to take advantage of the service.
“I don’t use the escorts,” she said. “I don’t know the number to call and I’m usually walking with friends so it seems unnecessary to call someone up.”
Good said he has a friend who uses the service frequently.
“My friend lives in the St. James apartments but has to park her car in the parking deck by Williams [Hall],” he said. “When she gets back from work late at night she calls the escort program and they will drive her to her apartment. Usually it’s after midnight.”
Baer said the newest addition to security is the lighting that has been installed all over campus.
“It really illuminated campus and enhanced visibility,” Baer said. “I think it’s a comfort to students. Officers also find it to be beneficial and even more lights are coming after the campus is done with construction [of the Alumni Center].”
Hurford said she agrees the lighting is helpful.
“I like that they put up new lights,” she said. “But it feels like [Olin] quad is really dark still. But the lights in the parking lots make me feel safer.”
Hurford also said she felt more insecure after hearing about the homicide at Yale University. Despite Yale’s extensive security, a student was murdered in one of the university’s labs a few weeks ago.
“I never thought about being alone in a building and someone attacking me,” Hurford said. “I’m usually scared to be walking alone outside, but I guess being in a building can be just as dangerous.”
Good said he could see Hurford’s point of view.
“I think people will see a national story like that and think ‘that could happen to me’ and get scared,” he said.
But Baer said sometimes crimes will happen no matter how much security is in place.
“You cannot be everywhere when things occur, no matter how many police officers you have” he said.
He said he thinks the Bradley community does a good job of working together to protect itself.
“We have good patrolling, good officers and people sharing information when they know something bad is happening,” Baer said. “Collaboratively it’s like living in a neighborhood where everyone knows everyone else and that makes the best security.”
The number for the escort service is 309-677-2800.
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