By SYDNEY MOORE
The Amarillo College Police Department has developed a new crime prevention program so students can become more aware of their surroundings. An off ender is less likely to want to draw attention to himself if people are paying attention.
The program started on Sept. 1, Police Officer Daryl Moore said.
“Crime prevention is a shared responsibility,” Moore said. “We can be as proactive as we can be, but if we don’t have students watching, then we can’t stop most of the criminal activity.”
The ACPD started to promote its program during the Club Fair this September. Th e program will have its first meeting Oct. 19 with the Community Link staff , Moore said.
“The ACPD plans on doing classes on self-awareness, primarily on women’s safety,” Moore said. “If I could hand out whistles to every female student and staff member, I think that would make a difference.”
The classes also will feature dating violence. The primary goal is to make people aware of what is going on around them, Moore said. The classes also will be offered in Spanish.
The classes will not teach self-defense. Students will receive whistles after every class or promotion. “Two thousand whistles will be divided up between the five Amarillo campuses,” Moore said.
The Moore County Campus and the Hereford Campus will not be excluded. “I plan on visiting every campus to let them know more about the crime prevention,” Moore said. “Eventually there will be whistles given to every campus.”
The ACPD will start the program at the Hereford and Moore campuses as well. Local police will be in charge of the program, Moore said.
According to the Clery Act, in 2010 the crime rate on the Washington Street Campus had gone down since the beginning of 2008. The Clery Act requires all higher education institutions to do a report of crime statistics every three years.
Students who were interviewed feel confident in their campus law enforcement. “I feel comfortable here,” said Janette Prespo, a physical therapy major. “I think crime prevention is good for other the campuses, though.”
Karli Shafer, an occupational therapy major, said she feels completely safe and wouldn’t change anything about AC.
The ACPD also will start an engraving program.
“If something gets stolen and we put an engraving of a student’s driver license number on the back, it is easier to track,” Moore said.
Th e ACPD offers services such as escorts to students’ cars and police reports. If someone locks their keys in their car, the ACPD will get them out.