South Alabama students react to campus safety and arrest

MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) – Students at the University of South Alabama spoke out on Friday, following the arrest in the case of an on campus sexual assault.

South Alabama Police Chief Zeke Aull encourages students to alert the police department if they see anything suspicious or out of the ordinary, following the Wednesday crime.

“We feel like we have a very safe campus. Any concerns we are aware of, we apply our resources to those safety concerns and we are not scared to come out and report he we’ve got a problem, we need your help, hence the campus campaign…if you see something, say something, and now we are taking that a step further to text something,” said Chief Aull.

It is a campaign that some students are well aware of, but are not too sure about when it comes to taking it a step further.

“That’s the delayed response. When you call it still takes a while,” said sophomore Paul Jones.

“I’ve seen some of those rallies and I’ve had friends who have been victims of sexual assault. I do advocate that you stand up and say something. Nobody deserves that nobody deserves to be the victim,” said junior Alexandria Smith.

As FOX10 News spoke to students, many did not know how to alert USAPD in times of danger. From a campus phone, it is as simple as dialing 5-1-1 to directly connect with the campus dispatcher.

“[I] actually never knew that,” said senior Augustine Rubit.

“It’s good to know. I’ll definitely have to take that into use. Glad you told me,” said Jones.

When it came down to how safe the campus is, emotions were split. FOX10 News asked students if they feel USAPD was doing its job.

“I feel safe. I know with all the stuff that just happened and everything some people feel less safe but I personally feel really safe still,” said freshman Autumn Courtney “I always see police. They’re always in our parking lot and they’re always driving around. Even when that happened, I feel like that happens everywhere. I can go to the gas station and that can happen. I don’t think it’s just the campus that we go to.”

“I do not [feel safe]. Not at all,” said sophomore Sydnee Rocker.

“Lately just from what I’ve noticed we don’t have a lot of patrol even though we have a police headquarters there all concentrated towards the dormitories and not the parking lots of where a lot of these things happen. Where things get stolen in the assault just happened,” she said

Some offered up suggestions as to how the USAPD could make the campus safer for them.

“We just talked about in class how there’s really no patrol. They need more beat cops on feet or on bikes and not just the patrol cars and they missed a lot of stuff that way,” said Rocker.

“I feel pretty safe. I feel like there could be better lighting at night. When people have those late classes and…just to be more well lit and better security during the nighttime. I was see security out in the daytime but barely see them on campus when I’m here at night,” said Smith.

Other suggestions: more security cameras. The chief said the campus has over 500 inside and outside buildings and said they helped play a role in Thursday night’s arrest.

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