As campus plants and critters prepare for the cold weather ahead, the Anderson University Police Department is also preparing to accommodate student safety concerns throughout the year.
AUPD has been preparing around-the-clock to keep AU and its students and faculty safe, with four police officers and six part-time security officers working to ensure the safety of those who call AU home.
Chief of Police Rick Garrett has been employed at AU for six years now and takes his job seriously.
“We have an officer working 24 hours a day, every day of the year—someone is always here, and we patrol the campus in vehicles and on foot looking for things that look suspicious or people who shouldn’t be on campus,” he said. “We ensure all the doors are locked at buildings and resident halls. Our purpose is primarily to keep the campus and the students safe.”
But despite their efforts, students don’t always feel safe while on campus.
“I feel safe during the day, but at night, campus is not well-lit,” Cyera Young, a sophomore, said.
Young is a student employee in the Haven and works night shifts. As a young female walking alone at night in the Valley, it causes alarm for her on her trek back to her dorm.
“When you have to walk at 10:30 at night through the Valley, it takes a sense of guard down, because not only do you have to listen and hear, you also have to watch even closer, because it’s really hard to see,” Young said.
Young isn’t the only student who feels unsafe walking around the grounds of AU at night.
“I feel safe on campus,” Brian Kaufman, a junior, said, “but since campus is an open campus, you don’t know 100 percent if someone is there or not.”
There are different services AUPD offers its students to make them feel safe and secure.
“We offer an escort,” Garett said. “Students, if they want a safety escort, can just give us a call at our number, and an officer will meet them. They will usually pick them up and take them from one location to another. Usually, several times throughout the night, we’ll escort students across campus.”
According to AU’s Annual Crime reports, in 2016 the two highest reports of crime on campus were 10 reports of burglary and 13 reports of alcohol violations.
AUPD can be reached at (765)-641-3333.