OSU Students Ask For Better Safety

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Police have issued crime alerts after six recent robberies in and around the OSU campus.(Photo: Msmail (Flickr))
Police have issued crime alerts after six recent robberies in and around the OSU campus.(Photo: Msmail (Flickr))

Representatives of undergraduate students at Ohio State University met with OSU president Gordon Gee late yesterday to give him a petition with a list of demands to help protect students from robberies and other threats.

The effort comes after a series of robberies in and around the OSU campus. Currently Ohio State University police have almost no authority off campus. Yet according to OSU police chief Paul Denton there is a limited agreement that allows for a little cooperation between campus police and Columbus police officers.

“We currently have a limited agreement with Columbus police for two special projects,” Denton says. “One is a joint patrol unit, where one of our officers are paired with their officer to patrol certain nights per week.

“In the autumn and spring quarters we have a crime interdiction project which allows our officers to work off campus with Columbus officers to address general crime in that neighborhood.”

But students, according to Denton, would like to see university police be able to patrol neighborhoods that are near campus. Denton says he welcomes discussion of the idea.

“I am open to learning more about that proposal and concept and I am certainly supportive of that discussion. I believe it’s an efficient and effective use of resources from my agency and I would expect other agencies to address a crime and safety problem in a neighborhood,” Denton says.

A spokeswoman for the Columbus Division of Public Safety which oversees the division of police said she could not comment because the department had not seen a university proposal.

“At this time we have not received any requests from OSU,” says says spokeswoman Amanda Ford. “Obviously we have heard through media and what they’re discussing internally as far as increasing their jurisdiction but at this time they have not made any requests or reached out to the director of public safety.”

In an email from November 17th, University President Gordon Gee promised that strategies to address the crime problems around campus would begin being implemented next week.