Students responsible for their own safety

The recent rash of crimes against the TCU community has been disconcerting. Considering the smash and grab parking lot break-ins and the knife-point robbery against a couple coming out of The Aardvark last semester, it can be scary to walk to your car at night.

It is a comfort though, to know that the campus Police Department is exploring different methods and better technology to keep us safe.

There are some who might protest the “Big Brother”-type eye in the sky, but if a robber were to knock them down on the sidewalk and take their wallet, those same people would probably be grateful the cameras were there since that technology could be instrumental in bringing their attacker to justice.

But as Steven McGee, chief of TCU police, reminded us, cameras don’t always prevent crimes; people do. The cameras may serve as a deterrent if they are mounted in plain sight and constantly monitored, but the key to not becoming a victim is for students to be aware of their surroundings and be responsible for their own personal safety.

This can be as simple as scanning the parking lot before they head to their car or not leaving valuable items in cars. Attending the campus crime-watch meetings and becoming more involved with and educated about what’s going on in the neighborhood would also be helpful.

Women on campus have access to the Froggie Five-0 program at night where student workers act as escorts to anywhere on campus. There are self-defense and rape prevention courses offered on campus free of charge.

The sophisticated cameras are a good thing, but they can’t take the place of personal responsibility. Sometimes there is nothing that can be done to prevent a crime from happening, but it’s not that difficult to be proactive in your own defense. You can’t always count on there being a cop in the bushes.

Opinion editor Katie Martinez for the editorial board.