Photo by Jarrett Skov

Once a year, around Valentine’s Day, we try to bring safety to the forefront of students’ minds. We’ve held our annual Campus Safety Day for the past four years at this time because we want you to know we care about you and are looking out for your well-being.

As we approach our annual Campus Safety Day this Feb. 14, we look forward to continuing to strengthen relationships within the campus community, and we also want to acknowledge the progress we’ve made in combating campus crime. We’re happy to report that, compared to this time last year, campus crime is down 24 percent. Of the four robberies we’ve had so far this year, we’ve already made three arrests.

Though arrests and a decrease in crime indicate that we are moving in the right direction, our department has no plans to let up on day-to-day tactics. We’ve added staff to our force, bringing our number of sworn officers to 82. The plain-clothes unit we introduced a year ago has made more than 15 significant arrests since its inception. We’ve also invested in five new vehicles and are equipping cars with license plate readers that can alert police to stolen or unregistered vehicles.

New to our social networking efforts is our activity on Reddit, where you can find us at www.reddit.com/user/gatechpd and contributing to the Tech Subreddit forum (www.reddit.com/r/gatech). We’ve also been purposeful about increasing opportunities for face-to-face interaction with our officers, who recently began lunching in the Student Center Commons where you can meet them and talk frankly about your concerns.

On Thursday, we’ll be on Tech Walkway with colleagues from around the city: You’ll be able to talk with officers, see our K-9 unit and Atlanta Police mounted patrols, test a DUI simulator, meet McGruff the Crime Dog and learn more about what we do.

Leading up to Thursday’s Tech Walk event, we’ll have demonstrations every afternoon in Room 152 of the Clough Commons: On Monday, we’ll showcase our K-9 unit at 5 p.m.; Tuesday, the focus will be on alcohol and drugs at 5 p.m.; on Wednesday at 6 p.m., the topic will be physical security. And as always, we’re happy to hold a dedicated crime prevention class for your organization.

In August, the Student Government Association (SGA) helped organize a meet-and-greet for Home Park residents. With so many students residing in this off-campus neighborhood, we applaud students’ initiative to look out for each other and build a true sense of community.

That initiative was followed by the Student Safety Campaign in September. Students took to Tech Walkway to talk with peers about how to handle themselves in the areas of personal safety, alcohol and drugs, transportation and theft. This campaign generated a map where students marked campus areas needing improved security measures; this helped guide SGA’s annual Safety Walk—an event held in November that afforded students the opportunity to voice their safety concerns and share their perspectives of campus security with officers and administrators.

Although it’s just once a year we designate for official campus safety observance, you can count on us to look after you 365 days a year. Call us any time at 404.894.2500. And, regardless of how you choose to spend Campus Safety Day, continue taking care of yourselves and each other.