Columbia police are ramping up their partnership with the University of South Carolina police department in an effort to curb campus crime.
According to the University of South Carolina’s student newspaper, the Daily Gamecock, Columbia’s Police Chief, Randy Scott, met with University of South Carolina administrators to discuss plans for the two groups to work together.
Curbing Campus Crime
University of South Carolina officials say the meeting was not sparred by an increase in crime rates, but rather more highly publicized crimes at the University.
Recently local and even national news media reported on:
- A student found in possession of five handguns in his dorm room
- An indecent exposure involving a gentleman on campus
- A strong-armed robbery on campus
Students and the media receive an alert of campus crimes via a Carolina Alert system that sends emails and text messages to the student.
USC police department spokesman Cpt. Eric Grabski said the meeting was not sparred by an increase in crime on campus nor a particular crime or incident.
Each of the crimes reported on by the media have lead to arrest of individuals.
“That happened, but we caught those folks,” Grabski states.
Columbia PD and University of South Carolina’s PD Plans
The two police departments met on last Thursday, September 13 to discuss in more detail how they will work more in unison now and in the future.
Police Chief Scott said the Columbia police are making more contact with people on and near the University of South Carolina’s campus and placing more “directive patrols” on campus.
“Directive patrols” are not a new sight on campus. In the past “directive patrols” have been used to assist during large events and in use in other areas with “potential issues”, Scott stated.
As part of the new initiative, Columbia police officers will fill out field contact cards after each stop. These contact cards will have information about the individual stopped including their name, what they looked like and where the stop occurred. Columbia police will then give the cards to USC’s Division of Law Enforcement and Safety, so in the event of a nearby crime, the University can track down potential suspects.
USC President Harris Pastides hopes Columbia Police Department will help be able to curb drinking and drinking crimes, as well as, violent crimes.
Grabski, a long with University officials, noted that the University of South Carolina’s campus had lower crime rates than the areas around it.
Pastides and Scott both hope that through the initiative law enforcement will be able to keep closer tabs on a campus that recently has been plagued with high-profile crimes. They also hope to maintain a closer relationship with the university and local police departments.
“Unless the data says ‘zero’, then we’ve got a problem,” Pastides states. “I think every large college campus in America has some level of a problem, and I don’t want our students or any members of our university community to be preyed upon.”
South Carolina Criminal Defense Lawyers
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