Predatory targeting of UC students

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - The letter signed by UC President Santa Ono and Cincinnati Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell is intended to send a message to Hamilton County judges and reassure the University's faculty, students and staff.

In the letter dated November 19, the county's judges are told: You have the ability to send a clear, forceful, reverberating message to criminals and the broader community that predatory targeting of UC students will have severe consequences.  

President Ono says campus safety has been the subject of ongoing discussions between himself and Police Chief Blackwell, and he believes the courts are part of the solution.

"They are part of the public safety continuum and we felt that we needed to stand up for our faculty, students and staff and we wanted to send a clear message to them how important it is for us for them to keep our faculty, students and staff in mind," explains Ono.

Chief Blackwell wants to discourage what he calls predatory targeting.

"It's a very target rich environment and the students sometimes aren't always aware of their surroundings and are sometimes very distracted so we have to do a better job," says Blackwell. "But also the University and the students have to do a better job of paying attention to what's going on."

How safe do students feel on campus?

"I feel safe walking to class no matter what time it is," explains Joseph, a student at UC. "I was at the library pretty late last night. I didn't feel unsafe in any way. Around campus is a little different."

"I feel pretty safe," says Emma, who is also a student at the university. "I don't think there's any danger around here with all the security."

However, when it comes to safety off campus, students feel a bit differently.

"You never go alone I would suggest groups of three because it gets really sketchy sometimes especially at night," adds Emma.

While there is no perfect solution to crime in and around campus, the collaboration between the university and Cincinnati Police is unprecedented.

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