Amid the string of vehicle break-ins, robberies and thefts that occurred throughout the city of Atlanta and on the Tech campus in the past two weeks, GTPD took a more passive approach in communicating the issue directly to the campus community than expected. Although GTPD contacted some of the affected and neighboring organizations, there should have been a more immediate form of mass communication sent out to the Tech community. While Clery Act alerts are primarily used for crimes of a more violent nature, the abnormally high concentration of break-ins should have warranted an exception to the usual protocol for the alerts.
Informing the masses about crime is not the responsibility of another organization. GTPD should be more proactive in broadcasting to the Tech community, especially if the crime could potentially affect the student body directly. GTPD should not merely rely on word of mouth, Facebook and its website if the crime does not meet alert requirements. GTPD’s use of crime prevention liaisons, while a great idea in theory, is not as effective as it could be and should be improved to take a more formal approach to communicate to a targeted audience. Options include establishing set contacts with other student organizations, such as SGA, IFC and CPC, to better spread the news. A stronger partnership with the Atlanta Police Department could provide more city-wide crime information to students.
Students should also take more precautionary measures against theft and crimes. Tech is, after all, in the heart of a crime-heavy city, and basic safety precautions still need to be performed. This includes removing personal belongings from the vehicle, not leaving the car doors unlocked and generally exercising more caution. Ultimately, GTPD does not bear the sole responsibility for educating students in safety.