By ALMA BUSTAMANTE
Criminal activity on the Amarillo College Washington Street Campus has been low during the past couple of months, and Officer Scott Acker, the AC crime prevention officer, is trying to keep it that way.
“Our No. 1 priority is safety for the college community,” Acker said. “Whether it be a student, faculty member, employee or visitor.”
From public service announcements on radio to training videos and PowerPoint presentations on Blackboard, Acker is using all the resources he can to reach students and inform them of safety tips.
“Be aware of your surroundings,” he said. Acker said simple things such as making observations of surroundings, locking car doors and walking with confidence can make a difference in safety.
“Also, do not leave valuable things in plain sight inside your car, because thieves can easily “smash ’n’ grab,” he said.
ACPD offers several services to students. Officers can assist in unlocking a student’s car if one locks himself or herself out and can jump-start a student’s car if a battery is dead.
Another service is the escort program. “If somebody is in fear that something is going to happen to them, we can do an escort,” Acker said.
The ACPD receives two to three calls daily, especially during nighttime, to do an escort.
“I had no idea the police department offered these services,” said Douglas Edwards, an engineering major.
Acker agreed that some students are not aware of ACPD’s services.
Acker’s PSAs are on FM90 each morning from Monday to Saturday. They also are available in Spanish on the Tejano station from 8:30 p.m. to midnight Saturdays to reach an even greater number of students.
During the day shift, AC is supervised by four officers who patrol the campus frequently to ensure the safety of students and others. During the night shift, two officers always are alert for any suspicious activity.
Bryant Martin, an undecided major, said he does not have concerns for his safety while on campus and that he never has felt threatened.
“That’s my job, to make sure I get out there and I get the word out,” Acker said.
He said he is grateful for the positive feedback on their job the ACPD officers receive from students.