Written by Emma Jones // Graphic by Wagner Valdez
Public Safety announced via an email sent out Sept. 9 that they would be working in collaboration with the Searcy Police Department to increase patrols on the city walking trail that runs through campus.
The decision to increase patrols on certain city walking trails was announced by the Searcy Police Department by a Facebook post on Sept. 8.
“With the recent tragedy that took place in Memphis, we wanted to do something here in Searcy to give our local runners and walkers a sense of security,” the Facebook post said.
The tragedy mentioned is referring to Eliza Fletcher, a teacher from Memphis, Tennessee, who was abducted and murdered during her morning jog on Sept. 2.
The police department is focusing their patrols on the trails that run from Berryhill Park to the area behind the Searcy High School football stadium. The main times being patrolled are certain weekdays from 8-9 a.m.
“We picked this time frame for those that may go for a run or walk after dropping their kids off at school,” the department said in the Facebook post.
Craig Russell, director of Public Safety, said the department wanted to provide a message of security on campus by partnering with the Searcy Police Department and patrolling the portion of the city walking trail that runs through campus.
“We try to be responsive to what the specific needs of the community are,” Russell said. “We don’t have unlimited resources, but we can make sure we’re targeting those resources in areas they’re most needed.”
Russell also said he encourages runners and walkers to go in pairs and always carry a cell phone, and for students to take advantage of the courtesy safety escorts provided by the Public Safety department from 6-12 p.m. each night.
Junior Julianne Phillips said she appreciates the increased patrols on campus.
“I’m from Memphis, so that plays into my opinions on this, but I do think that as a female college student it is important for us to have increased safety measures,” Phillips said.
For any emergencies on campus, please call 911 for the Searcy Police Department and 501-279-5000 for Public Safety.