Preventing Crime and Promoting Safety

Friday, June 26, 2009

BartleyIt’s just what SC State University interim police chief Michael Bartley wanted, an open forum with open dialogue about topics like crime trends and crime prevention. On Wednesday, June 17, 2009, Bartley, staff, faculty, and students gathered in the Garnet and Blue Room of the K.W. Green Student Center during the “Chat with the Chief” initiative to ask several questions on an array of topics.

Zachary Middleton, SC State University’s Student Government Association President, asked a number of questions, one of which included homeland security. How will SC State University handle any aggression or threat against the infrastructure? Bartley acknowledged that the state would inform the University of any critical issues that may arise. Officials also received homeland training in April.

If any other emergency situation occurs, according to Bartley, SC State University is becoming an E-2 campus which houses an emergency notification system. Accordingly, if there is an emergency, students will receive an e-mail highlighting the situation. A voicemail message will also be sent to your cell phone.

But, what if a person reports a sexual assault? How is that handled? Bartley says that certain steps must be taken. First, the victim is sent to the hospital. Secondly, a nurse will ask this individual a series of questions. Finally, a victim’s advocate is provided. Bartley says that the SC State University police department will follow you from the crime to the prosecution. “We are commissioned by SLED,” says Bartley. “We’re not locked down to this campus. We can go outside and pursue someone.”

Standing in front of a huge banner with the SC State University police department motto~meeting the challenge to make a positive difference, Bartley hopes that “Chat with the Chief” and other initiatives can be used effectively as a deterrent to crime on the campus.

Sheba, the newly initiated patrol apprehension K-9 that can be found on the campus, is one avenue that can be used to catch someone. “Sheba will deter a lot of crimes and reduce narcotic activity, perhaps by 50 percent,” says Bartley.

Other initiatives discussed during “Chat with the Chief” that will be implemented, include Project I.D. Do you know the serial number for most of your possessions? In the fall, students will record serial numbers for their personal property. “If someone stole your belongings, you could provide the serial number so that it may be easily returned to the owner if recovered,” says Bartley. A personal marking will also show that the product belongs to you.

Bartley also notes that the SC State University police department is spearheading a lojack program for laptop computers. Those who wish may purchase the lojack tracking device, a way to monitor where an item is.

You are invited to the next “Chat with the Chief,” happening Wednesday, July 1, 2009 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. in the Garnet and Blue Room of the K.W. Green Student Center. “We launched this initiative,” states Bartley. “It’s up to you to participate.”

For more information on “Chat with the Chief,” contact the SC State University police department at (803) 536-7188.