CSU safe?

Dec 022003
Authors: Jesse McLain

CSU may not be as safe as other state universities in the eyes

of some transfer students.

“I’ve had calculators, books and my bike stolen,” said senior

Terry Miller, who transferred to CSU from University of Colorado in

fall of 2000. “Police seem to have a bigger presence up here, it

just seems like they’re always writing bike tickets or


When Miller had his bike stolen he had little faith that the

police would be able to recover it.

“I reported it and all they pretty much said was ‘if you see it

locked up somewhere else we’ll come and get it,'” Miller said.

Comparisons between neighboring universities, CSUPD’s opinion of

crime rates and the psychological effect of feeling unsafe on

campus all has an affect on students in a variety of ways.

Top problems facing CSUPD this year statistically point to

property theft, but Capt. Bob Chaffee says sexual assault is an

area of concern.

“Sexual assaults are a number that seem higher than comparable

universities, but I personally think that we do a thorough job of

investigating these crimes,” Chaffee said. “Statistically thefts,

most particularly bike theft, seem to be an area of high


Tim McGraw, CU Police Department Spokesman, said they encounter

similar problems.

“When it comes down to it, theft is the most prevalent of all

the issues that we face,” McGraw said.

Sexual crimes also rank high on McGraw’s list of crime related


“We’re very concerned with sexual assault because the effect on

the victim is so great.”

Joan Williams, records manager at CSUPD, confirms that because

of their low budget, it is difficult for the police department to

solve crime without high contributions from the community.

“We can’t afford to offer any type of a reward,” Williams said.

“We can’t be everywhere, we’re not aware of what is going on a lot

of the time unless someone calls in and tells us.”

Statistically speaking, CSU seems to encounter the same kinds of

crimes, particularly property theft, as most other


“I would say people on college campuses make poor decisions and

there are more petty crimes and less violent ones,” Williams said.

“We see a few more crimes against people these days, but not many.

People who commit property crimes don’t see these crimes as


Junior Katherine Mann, who transferred to CSU from University


Northern Colorado as a sophomore has noticed the change between

the two police forces.

“I think they had more of a presence at UNC. There are police

officers everywhere down there,” Mann said. “The seem more involved

and they make themselves more known.”

Mann’s faith in the police department is also low.

“If something gets stolen with so many students, how are they

going to find the person who took my stereo or whatever?” Mann


In order to change students’ opinion, CSUPD needs to make

themselves more accessible to students, Mann said.

However CSUPD may have a different point of view.

“There’s a ton of stuff, we all try to reach out to students to

make them aware of all the issues they’re going to face,” said


As far as things holding the police department back Chaffee

agrees that financial resources are a restriction.

“Resources are always an issue when it comes to law


Chaffee said. “What we could use even more is more community


For those who are worriers by nature, feeling unsafe on campus

can have quite an effect.

“It is a person by situation interaction. If you’re the kind of

person that worries anyway, feeling unsafe will definitely effect

your concentration,” said Ernie Chavez, chair of CSU psychology

department. “The world’s a dangerous place and if you walk around

thinking about it all the time you’ll drive yourself crazy.”

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