University Police Director Dolores Stafford told students at a Student Association town hall meeting Dec. 6 that crime on campus has decreased because of increased security measures.
The event drew about 20 students and included a demonstration of the Rape Aggression Defense classes and a simulation by EMeRG, the campus emergency care team.
We are very different from other schools in that we actually patrol all the residence halls every couple hours, seven days a week, Stafford said, as she addressed students’ questions concerning security breaches in the halls.
Stafford gave an overview of the UPD and its progress in the past few years noting that GW’s crime rate has gone down.
While 893 felony or theft offenses were reported in 1996, the number fell to 601 in 1999, she said.
She said the decrease was a result of tighter residence hall security and limiting access to Gelman Library to only those with a GWorld card.
But felonies and theft offenses increased by 88 incidents from 1998 to 1999, according to UPD statistics.
Theft is still the biggest crime problem, accounting for about 90 percent of the campus numbers, Stafford said.
Stafford said the University plans to add more security blue lights to areas of campus and along routes to the Hall of Virginia Avenue and Aston Hall. Two students were threatened in an Aston elevator in October and a student was robbed in the area in November.
Stafford said the lights will not be added until the University receives District approval. She expects the lights will be in place by next fall.
The University hopes to add one of the security lights to every campus block in the next couple of years, Stafford said.
Stafford said UPD cannot prevent all campus crime and reminded students to be cognizant of their surroundings on the streets and in campus residence halls.
She urged students to practice common sense in the residence halls by not letting strangers into buildings and reminded students to close their doors when leaving their rooms.
We felt that tonight went very well and found that people are interested in security affairs, said Shawn Fabian, SA Security Affairs co-director. We have conducted two surveys among GW students and have found conclusively that students feel safe on campus.