The Ithaca College Office of Public Safety and Emergency Management and Ithaca Police Department have increased their patrols and presence on and around campus this fall, due to both standard protocol and recent crime.
Lieutenant Tom Dunn in the Office of Public Safety said there are a few reasons patrols in cars, on bicycles and on foot have increased since students have arrived on campus. Besides standard protocol of increasing patrols at the beginning of the year, he said the reported burglaries at the Circle Apartments and the stabbing that resulted in the death of sophomore Anthony Nazaire on the Cornell University campus on Aug. 28, have caused Public Safety to increase its presence. Dunn said he cannot disclose how many more officers are patrolling due to these instances, but that extra focus is being added.
“When we see crime patterns like the Circle burglaries, we do directed patrolling,” Dunn said. “We tell our officers, this area is getting some extra activity, so we want to concentrate our efforts in a certain area based on certain crime patterns or trends … but I prefer not to tell you about our methods and our numbers.”
Dunn said in general for the academic year, patrols increase from two officers every day, to adding an extra officer Thursday through Saturdays — periods of greater activity on campus.
IPD has also increased patrol in the Ithaca area this fall, Jamie Williamson, Public Information Officer for IPD, said. He said these times of greater security are typical at the beginnings of the fall and spring semesters and has been this way for the last 20 years. During these periods of increased patrol, up to 10 officers — but usually four to six — may be out at any one time, Williamson said.
Officers are patrolling for issues that are associated with students returning to the community, including loud parties, public urination, open containers and littering, Williamson said. He also said officers are typically looking to enforce laws regarding these issues, for which they receive the most complaints.
“Every year in the spring and in the fall we increase our patrol on both the South Hill and the East Hill for quality of life issues,” Williamson said.
He also said these increased security measures will last for several weeks.
Some students at the college said they have noticed this increased police presence on and around campus.
“One of my friends was given what seemed like an extra hard time from the police for littering,” freshman Christina Fandaros said. “Their increased presence doesn’t go unnoticed.”
Senior Caroline Gorland said she has noticed this increase over the past few years in Ithaca. She said in the past, occasionally a party would get stopped, however this fall, compared to other times of the year, these instances have become more frequent.
“Many of the … get-togethers I’ve been to the last couple weeks, I feel like there’s always been [patrols],” Gorland said. “Across the street from my house last night where nothing was happening, there was five police cars there for I want to say three hours. … I’ve definitely noticed an increase in their presence for sure.”
Sophomore Nicole Decrem said she believes the increased patrols have a positive impact on the community.
“Last year when I would walk around campus I didn’t usually see campus police … but there’s definitely an increase because walking around campus I see a lot more, even when I drive,” Decrem said. “When I do see them I definitely feel more safe, especially if I see them if it’s dark out or I’m walking late at night.”
Williamson said, overall, the increased patrols will help keep students and the community safe.
“We look for complaints … once we get that compliance that’s when we stop our patrols,” Williamson said. “The student body has the right to relax and to party and to drink alcohol if they are of age. We understand all of those things and we would never not ask them to do that. However, there are laws and city codes that govern the conduct and behavior of everybody inside of Ithaca.”