Safety escort service revived

Jessica Sasseen

Walking back to the dorm alone at 2 a.m. may be less dangerous with the implement of the police escort service.

On Sept. 19, 2002, Western’s police proposed starting a student escort service with a $2,500 grant given by the Parents Advisory Council.

The proposal was approved in spring 2003 and will be effective on campus in fall 2003.

Joe Harbaugh, crime prevention officer, said the service was offered in the late 1980s through 90s at Western and was successful, but it stopped in 1997 due to a lack of funds.

During 1992, the service escorted 5,180 students, Harbaugh said.

The grant for the revised police escort service in fall 2003 will go toward training students who volunteer, new uniforms, flashlights, police mountain bikes, helmets and ball cap-style hats marked “WKU police escort service.”

The service usually escorts female students walking alone at night, coming from parking lots, night classes and the library, Harbaugh said.

“Students don’t call because they feel like they are bothering the police,” Harbaugh said. “This will put them at ease with a student doing it and not taking up the time with a police officer.”

Police do not mind escorting students, Harbaugh said, but with the help of trained student escorts, the response time will be quicker.

Louisville junior Lauren Carcara said she would use the police escort service.

“A lot of my classes are at night,” Carcara said. “I don’t really feel threatened, but it would be easier to ask for help.”

The escort service will post flyers and hand cards out to students to promote the service.

Amy Miller, associate director of Alumni Associations, is a part of the Parents Council Advisory Board. She said parents’ biggest concern every year is the development and safety of their children.

“Providing (the university) with these funds makes every one safer and makes the community safer,” Miller said.

Reach Kandace Sebastian at [email protected]