Staff editorial: Staying safe

Two armed robberies, an attempted snatch-and-grab theft and a fugitive arrest just off campus, Wednesday’s shooting outside the White House and two murders at a local university. These events should compel GW students to be more guarded about their safety on and around campus.

Most of GW’s security concerns lie at the periphery of campus, as the University Police Department does a good job keeping GW’s streets fairly safe. But with such targets for violence as the White House and the other bureaus and agencies so close by, students must be mindful of the potential for terrorism or lone-gunman attacks. No one wants to be the innocent bystander killed by an assassin’s stray bullet.

But much less dramatic and perhaps even more dangerous is the potential for students to be complacent on or near campus. Robberies are much easier to successfully carry out if the victim is walking alone late at night, as two students robbed at gunpoint near campus this year were. Thefts of opportunity – GW’s largest security problem – are only possible when students carelessly leave their doors unlocked or expensive belongings lying about unattended.

The recent local events making national headlines vividly show that the GW community must take care to protect itself. While Foggy Bottom may be one of the quieter neighborhoods in D.C., it is by no means unsusceptible to crime. Despite the best efforts of University officials and police, Foggy Bottom will never be completely safe.

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