STORY BY NATALIE LARIMER
During the first few weeks of this semester, there has been some disturbance around campus.
Two serious crimes have happened within blocks of Drake, causing some students to feel unsafe.
The first crime was a double homicide reported just before 2 a.m. on 22nd Street on Sept. 11. Drake Public Safety sent out a Timely Warning email to inform students in order for them to take proper safety measures.
A Bulldog Alert is an emergency notification that can be about anything from weather to crimes or something happening at the moment that poses an imminent threat. A Timely Warning is set for something that happened already, such as a robbery, that Drake Public Safety would like to inform students about.
The second crime was an armed robbery that occurred on University Ave. The suspects fled to Greek Street during rush events, where they were arrested. Nobody was hurt, so Drake Public Safety thought it best to not send out a Bulldog Alert or Timely Warning since there was not an ongoing investigation or a threat to the students of Drake.
Director of Public Safety Scott Law and his staff have to decide whether to inform the student body or not, taking into account the safety concerns and the possible panic it could cause.
“We usually send out a Bulldog Alert when we have an emergency situation near the campus or on the campus and we want students to take immediate action to protect themselves,” Law said. “Since we had no suspects (for the double homicide), we had no description for anyone to look out for, there wasn’t really a lot to tell people.”
Because these crimes have been so severe and so close to campus, Public Safety is increasing the amount of security guards and officers on campus.
“We will be hiring a Des Moines officer to work specifically for Drake between the hours of 7 p.m. and 7 a.m.” Law said.
Along with the officer, there will be another Drake Public Safety car on patrol and another Safe Bus in use on weekends.
Students should not be afraid to report something unusual to Public Safety or talk to an officer about anything going on.
“(Security) do what they’re supposed to do and they aren’t scary at all to me,” freshman Allison Canaday said. “I would feel safe walking up to them and talking to them.”
The most important way to keep safe is to use caution in all situations, especially emergencies.
“I’ve learned where to go and to just stay on campus because nothing has ever happened on campus,” senior Taylor Floyd said. “I’m also definitely cautious. I’m aware of where our school is located and I’m not going to walk home by myself.”
Drake Public Safety encourages students to download the Rave Guardian app, which has a feature where people are able to anonymously report incidents.
“I think one of the important things to stress is to report something if you feel uncomfortable with it,” Law said. “If you see something, say something.”