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Parking lot crimes at WSU Vancouver

The parking lots are not as safe as they seem. Two car prowls have occurred in the Orange 1 parking lot this semester. Both cars had their passenger-side, rear window smashed as a result of the prowls. Though the Orange parking lot is nearest the cafeteria and, ironically, the office of Public Safety & Police Services, cars are still not crime proof.

The office of Public Safety & Police Services publishes crime and other various alerts on their web page to aid in campus safety and public awareness.  In accordance to vehicle crimes, the site encourages students to always lock their vehicles.

The alert published in response to the recent car prowls reminds students: “leave no possessions visible inside your vehicle. Please report any suspicious vehicles/people to 911 immediately or contact campus police at 360-546-9001.”

WSU also has a police blotter listing the Vancouver campus police activities in detail. The blotter shows that earlier in 2013 a car was stolen on campus and in 2012 there were two more incidents of car prowls. The blotter is available for viewing at online.

Several students on campus have opinions on what should be done about crimes such as this and the means to deal with them. The need for security cameras was a common theme.

“I don’t recall seeing security cameras in WSU Vancouver parking lots. Security cameras would be good,” said Nick Maudlin, a junior majoring in psychology.

“I think security cameras are a worthwhile investment. Our campus is open and connects right into the community.  Though I feel that they [Public Safety] have done an adequate job of making us feel safe with the blue light emergency phones,” said David Choi, a freshman majoring in electrical engineering.

Blake Smith, a senior majoring in human resource management, has a different perspective on campus safety.

“Several things can be changed to improve security. The student government can build a relationship with [those responsible for] campus security to improve safety,” said Smith.

There are other resources available to ensure student safety on campus. The Vancouver Campus Safety Escort Program assists students who do not feel safe walking to their cars alone. Students can contact Public Safety employees at 360 546 9001 to arrange for an escort. This program is available every day until 11:30 p.m.

Though no one is impermeable to crime, there are safety precautions to be taken for protection. Public Safety & Police Services has a handbook on crime prevention available to pick up in VDEN 160.

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