By JENNA GIBSON, Ranger Reporter:
Beginning Oct. 15, the police department is implementing 10 hour overlapping shifts to increase campus safety and be more aggressive in patrolling on all AC campuses. One of the largest dangers a student can face is sexual assault.
According to the National Sexual Violence and Resource Center, “One in five women and one in 16 men are sexually assaulted while in college.”
Over the last year, the Amarillo College Police Department has implemented various programs to ensure campus safety.
One of the department’s key focus areas has been preventing sexual assault.
Scott Acker, AC police corporal said the department has established a safety and education function.
“One of these key elements in our department has been a concentrated effort to establish a more productive relationship with the college community to develop trust and mutual respect,” Acker said.
The department has developed 31 awareness and prevention programs including; sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking.
“We have developed a better working relationship with outside agencies and advocacy centers to help the victims in these types of situations,” Acker said.
“Sexual assault could be a problem anywhere and can occur without being reported. It is a major concern with our department and we have not had any reported problems with sexual assault on campus,” Acker said.
According to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), “Only 20 percent of female student victims, age 18-24, report to law enforcement and only 32 percent of nonstudent females the same age do make a report.”
Because reporting can be an issue, the police department has an alternative to reporting sexual assaults where the victim can remain anonymous and report to a campus security officer without having to make an official police complaint.
“Those reports are forwarded to the police department in case the victim wants to file charges at a later date.”