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Ohio State Launches Community Patrol Program As Additional Security Measure

Aerial view of The Oval on Ohio State University's campus
Ohio State University
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Ohio State junior Jack Alberti and his friends live just east of campus and have experienced serious crime first hand.

"We had a friend get carjacked just a couple days ago,” Alberti said. “And then before that, also this week, there was actually a gunshot outside of our house, and a friend of mine actually got a gun pointed at him, and he was just walking home at night."

After boosting its security efforts recently in response to an increase in crime, Ohio State University launched an additional program Friday with more community patrols for the university area.

The program is called Buckeye Block Watch, and the patrols will act as monitors for safety concerns. The members will wear bright orange gear as they patrol by foot, bike and vehicles. They will also provide resources for anyone needing to report suspicious activity.

Alberti said the new program is very needed.

"It's definitely something that needs to happen,” Alberti said. “I'm glad that the university is stepping up to make it happen. I'm glad we're seeing change because I know a lot of students don't feel safe on campus as of right now."

OSU finance student Dylan Fischer also lives close to campus and said he appreciates the security measures the university has been taking lately and likes the idea of the new patrols being on foot and bike.

"Obviously, increased police presence is ideal. Increased lighting is ideal, but I think this could be the answer for like the missing piece,” Fischer said. “Definitely a more low key approach."

The patrols are not law enforcement officers and they will not have arrest powers or carry firearms. They are employees of a local not-for-profit called Community Crime Patrol and a Louisville-based company called Block by Block.

They will monitor the university area Wednesday through Saturday nights.

The program serves as part of a larger effort to increase safety in the off-campus area after an increase in crime this year and resulting protests from parents and students. Measures taken so far include adding more portable lighting units, distributing free personal safety devices, and expanding the Lyft Ride Smart Program.