Crime in the campus area is nothing new at OSU, but the rate at which these crimes are occurring is at a frightening level. OSU Police have been filling email inboxes with notifications about crimes occurring in the campus area. Police have said these emails are intended to warn students, faculty and staff of threats to the OSU community.
The problem is consistency.
OSU Police has sent five warning emails for robberies in the campus area, but there are some instances when a warning is not sent. Wednesday night, two girls were robbed at gunpoint in their car on East Woodruff Avenue. They had a gun pointed at their heads, had their lives threatened and their property stolen from them.
There was no Timely Warning issued for this.
OSU needs to establish a consistent policy for the Timely Warnings. In the past 18 days, the warnings have made students more aware of their surroundings.
The Timely Warning system is a positive for the OSU community. People are making proactive decisions to avoid dangerous situations. Students are walking in groups, staying alert and assisting peers in various ways to stay safe.
If that is the goal of the system, it has succeeded. However, the Timely Warning system is lacking the aspect of timeliness.
In some cases the warnings are sent more than four hours after the event, and in other cases it takes almost 12 hours to send the email. If there is an intent to warn students about a threat in the area, it is failing. If there is an intent to help identify the suspects, it is failing, because the suspects would be long gone by the time the emails are received.
The nature of the warnings needs to change. They need to be more immediate and more consistent.