UK police chief talks safety during National Campus Safety Awareness Month

In 2008, National Campus Safety Awareness Month was approved by Congress to encourage public conversations about preventing campus violence.

LEXINGTON, Ky (WTVQ0- Thousands of students are now back on college campuses across Kentucky. Every year, students become targets of sexual assault, robbery, and harassment.

In 2008, National Campus Safety Awareness Month was approved by Congress to encourage public conversations about preventing campus violence.

“Just little things that you know that could protect you if something like this happened,” said UK senior Caroline Murphy.

Murphy is a senior at the University of Kentucky. She’s taken her fair share of night classes and admits there were times when she felt vulnerable.

“There aren’t as many people around. And it’s not that I didn’t feel safe, but I’m acutely aware that I’m a woman and I’m on my own,” Murphy said.

That’s why she encourages all students to use safety precautions.

University of Kentucky Police Chief Joe Monroe said the university is in the midst of the largest freshman class it has ever had. With more students on campus, he encourages all students to stay alert. His department sometimes responds to cases of sexual assault, rape, and robbery.

“As the campus returns to a new normal, there is even more excitement, more people on campus. So with that, we’ll likely respond to sexual assault multiple times in the fall semester,” Monroe said.

As a result, the university offers a variety of tools to help keep students safe. One of them is the Live Safe app.

“It’s an opportunity for a student to sign up for a free app. And this app has them covered while they walk. So they can use it to get directions. They can also contact the UK police this way. And it kind of allows us to follow them as they walk,” Chief Monroe said.

There are also blue towers all over campus and self-defense classes. And in case of emergency, there is an alert system.

“And with that, it allows us to push text messages and phone calls to their cell phone or email accounts to give them that instant notification,” Monroe said.

Monroe says it’s important to keep in mind “if you see something, say something.”

“Don’t put yourself in a situation where something can happen, especially if you start to feel like something is wrong with it. That’s probably a good gut reaction that you need to get out of it,” Monroe said. .

Caroline Murphy says she and her friends use a buddy system during those late nights, which means they go in groups.
You can find more information about how the university protects students here.

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