The Georgia Tech Police Department (GTPD) is well known for its strong campus presence, a variety of campus safety initiatives and an open encouragement of discussion. Students can feel safe walking around the core campus because of many patrolling officers, several emergency blue light phones and their own sense of awareness. Since it has created a safe environment on campus, GTPD can collaborate with other organizations to create the same feeling for students who live off campus.
Many of the current programs related to campus safety focus directly on the behavior of students on campus. There are many seminars and open forums discussing theft, sexual violence and general awareness which, though useful in a wider setting, are primarily focused on Tech. The emergency blue light phones, which immediately contact GTPD with the push of a button, can be seen from any point on campus. In addition, while GTPD patrol cars are a common sight around campus, their presence is considerably thinner around areas like Centennial Place and Home Park. While last week’s Campus Safety Walk emphasized existing on-campus issues, off-campus students would benefit greatly from more available resources.
Many students who live in non-Tech housing face unique challenges with safety. Though campus crime has significantly decreased, most of the Clery Act alerts still describe crimes that are near the edges of campus. When students step off campus, they are dealing with an entirely different environment. An increase in emergency resources off campus would be great, especially if GTPD could provide them.
Working to maintain current on-campus safety standards while expanding GTPD’s effective range to off-campus housing would mean a far better level of security for students.