It’s not shocking that when students leave for Winter Break the Hendrix campus becomes more susceptible to robberies. The limited population on campus can be attractive to potential robbers.
“The more people around the better” Director of Public Safety Michael LeBlanc said.
Thankfully there were very few incidents over break. However, Officer LeBlanc did mention one huge problem related to student safety. As PSafe officers checked dorms once students had left campus, they found at least 11 windows open and over 42 unlocked doors. LeBlanc noted that students are not the only ones to become complacent in safety measures as the school year continues. He mentioned that there were plenty of unlocked faculty and staff doors and windows.
“Our numbers would be dramatically decreased if people took some personal responsibility,” he noted.
Although LeBlanc acknowledged that he never wants to be unfair in his discipline, he is concerned that people are becoming negligent in the caring of valuable property, like laptops or TVs that value at a few thousand dollars.
Other endeavors happening this semester relate to the branding side of the Public Safety department, the main goals for changes being better visibility and a truer incorporation of the college’s brand itself. Students may see PSafe vehicles with new swanky graphics, one branding change that is almost fully complete. LeBlanc noted that the new vehicles are more easily identifiable, both for students and criminals, as well as serving as “a billboard for the college,” LeBlanc said.
A new department patch is also in the works. The new patch will be designed with the Greek Hendrix motto, which in English translates to “Unto the Whole Person,” a change pointedly aimed at incorporating the college’s message into the arena of public safety.
PSafe has started teaming up with the local Conway police in areas that are video monitored on campus. A few months ago there were multiple robberies in the SLTC with a few backpacks being stolen. Although the culprit(s) of these crimes has never been found, Conway police and PSafe have worked harder since then to stay on top of vulnerable or valuable areas on campus and to use the resources already in place (like the cameras).
On a final note, stay on the lookout for a new Hendrix Public Safety Webpage, featuring bios of all the officers. LeBlanc hopes to have this new webpage up soon so students can learn more about their safety team.
Photo by Konrad Witkowski.