Spurred by an increasing rate in theft, the University Police bought 4,000 Clubs to help students protect their cars. This purchase is a great way for the UP to show their presence in the USF community and to also actively help students prevent crime. Hopefully, more programs will be developed by the UP as time progresses to help prevent more crimes instead of often being only able to document them.
Thanks to a $45,000 federal grant, the UP was given the opportunity to buy the Clubs, a device placed on the steering wheel of a car, that are said to deter theft. Students who have a valid license and registration proving they own one of the top 15 most stolen vehicles are eligible to pick up their free Club Wednesday at the Martin Luther King Plaza.
Such a program helps students understand the impact crime has on their community and what they can do to prevent it. Students are often victims of property theft. According to UP Sgt. Mike Klingebiel, theft increased on campus from 347 incidents in 1999 to 406 in 2000. But if students are unaware, they cannot properly protect themselves.
The UP plans to send letters home to students informing them of the increased crime rates, places to find information and tips on how to keep from becoming victims. This proactive role shows the UP is not just sitting around writing reports after crimes are committed. They are doing what good police officers should – preventing crimes from even happening.
Of course, this is a joint effort and students must take responsibility to educate themselves about their community and be alert for potential problems. The police cannot be everywhere, but by arming the public with information, we can all help make our campus a little more safe and a little less criminal.