Student Safety Talk to be held on Mar. 8

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On Thursday, March 8 at 5:30 p.m. in Hamilton “Ham” Center Classroom 4, Campus Police Lieutenant Michael Kessie and Student Life Coordinator Beth Bowen will hold a Student Safety Talk. In response to recent crimes occurring near campus – including a predator breaking into a student’s home – the event will cover tips on how students can ensure their own and their property’s safety.

“The goal is to promote safety awareness and educate students about staying safe both on and off campus,” Bowen told the Catalyst via e-mail. “Mike Kessie and I are also available to answer any specific questions that students may have.”

“We have [a] very low [rate of] violent crime on this campus, it’s almost zero,” Kessie told the Catalyst. “And to have some things close by, we’re concerned.

“Actually, [regarding] the alerts that we sent out, we were not required by any law to send those out,” Kessie added in reference to e-mail alerts informing students of crimes committed nearby. “We did it because it is the right thing to do, and we have to protect our students wherever they’re at.”

Despite the increase in off-campus incidents, there seems to be a trend of fewer thefts this year. Between Aug. 2010 and Aug. 2011, there were 49 reported thefts. From Aug. 2011 to Feb. 2012, 19 thefts have been reported. “We had a major suspect in bike thefts that was arrested last year, and since his arrest – he is still in the Sarasota County Jail – the number has pretty much plummeted,” Kessie said. “But again, he might not be the only one too. It could be coincidence.

“If something doesn’t look right, call us and let us know,” Kessie urged. Anonymous tips can be given to the New College Police Department by calling (941) 487-4210.

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