by Terrance Smith, Staff Writer
Morgan State University serves roughly 8,000 students, where administrators understand that keeping them safe is a priority, that’s the reason why the Campus Safety Forum was held Wednesday night.
Organized by the Office of Residence Life and Housing and the Inter-Residence Hall Council, the forum was held to strengthen the relationship between the Morgan State University Police.
Department and the campus community. Students had the opportunity to anonymously ask questions to police officers and have an open dialogue about issues regarding safety on campus.
“We have the Allied Universal Officers, ‘yellow jackets’ and they are strategically placed where the residence halls are. We have our contractual security that are Morgan employees in the Earl S. Richardson Library, Montebello Complex, Center for the Built Environment and Infrastructure Studies Building and the Carl J. Murphy Fine Arts Center,” said Chief of Police Lance G. Hatcher, when asked what initiatives are being done to ensure safety on campus.
“We conduct mobile and foot patrols. Campus safety walks will take place once the weather gets warm. President David Wilson and Executive Director of Campus and Public Safety Adrian Wiggins have been working with the city to improve the lighting on Arlington Avenue and on Hillen Road,” Hatcher added.
Hatcher, however wants students to know that some of the responsibility is placed upon them.
“Everything that your parents taught you bring that with you. You are in a metropolitan city. You help us keep you safe. Let a friend or roommate know where you’re going and when you should be back”, said Hatcher. “You’re putting yourself and others at risk by not telling us what’s going on”
Some students feel that these events should happen more often because they are important for the community.
“It betters the connection between [students and campus police officers]. I feel that the more we communicate with communicate with campus police the better they are at protecting us and facilitating a better on campus life experience,” said Derrick Harrell, a freshman elementary education major.
“We want to say [these things] often and loud. We want to reach all of the students. We’re available and we want to be ever present. The relationship they have with the police at home, wherever home may be, is probably far different than the relationship that we want to have with them,” said Hatcher.
“We understand where they come from and we’re not your foe or enemy. We’re here to support them and make sure that they are successful.”