Low light hides crime

Students at Northern Kentucky University are questioning nighttime campus safety after the report of the Feb. 15 physical harassment incident outside Steely Library near Lot I.

Several NKU members have begun requesting better safety precautions and regulations to prevent these criminal activities. Questions about better campus lighting and other security measures for students, faculty and staff have risen.

“From time to time we do get recommendations for areas that need to be better lit,” said NKU Police Chief Jason Willis. “It’s virtually impossible to light up every nook and cranny of the university. We always encourage students to use the walkways that are already well lit.”

However, according to a recent assault account, the female student was unable to follow a lit walkway directly to her vehicle in the parking lot where she was attacked.

“I feel the worst lit areas on campus include the parking garages and various parking lots,” senior Emma Woeste said. “I have to park on the bottom floor of the Welcome garage, and by the time I am done with my night classes, the bottom floor of the garage is almost completely empty.”

Those walking around campus can frequently catch a glimpse of bright blue light issuing from one of NKU’s 44 emergency call boxes, which automatically reach the police dispatch center.

Each of these call boxes is used to plot a callers’ exact location in time of emergency. Students are encouraged to use these boxes to contact police to report emergencies or suspicious activity.

Crime does not occur as often on campus as many would think, according to Chief Willis.

“I think at the end of the day, crimes on campus are crimes of opportunity,” Willis said. “Whether a student has left a door unlocked, or left their possessions unattended, if those things are occurring in poorly lit areas, then obviously it makes things easier for the offender.”

Story by Jill Liebisch