Students Left Unharmed in Recent String of Unrelated Incidents

GRAPHIC BY MILLY TEJEDA/GRAPHICS CENTER

Public Safety disclosed this month that students were robbed on two separate occasions near Arguello Boulevard and McAllister Street. In light of these incidents, director of Public Safety Dan Lawson cautioned students to be vigilant, “[Let’s be] aware of where we are, how late at night. That is not being on our phone, [but] looking around and making sure that if something looks unusual to us that we make sure that we go out of our way to go around it.” Another thing Lawson stresses is compliance. “If you do get involved, which would be rare, give the property up, do not resist. Otherwise, somebody could be injured.” 

The robberies on Arguello and McAllister were technically past Public Safety’s jurisdiction,  which only operates on the University’s campus. However, Public Safety may still play a role in the aftermath of a robbery if it is within a one-mile radius of campus. If anyone is robbed off campus, but within the one-mile campus radius, the first thing they should do is call the San Francisco Police Department and then Public Safety. Lawson says “We’ll show up and help provide a safety escort to [the victim] afterward.” 

Public Safety takes a record of all incidents, both on-campus and within this radius. Lawson explained that Public Safety “need[s] to record that, because we want to know. It’s within our neighborhood, this happened down at Arguello and McAllister. So that’s definitely within a one-mile radius, and certainly within our neighborhoods.” 

Public Safety has also introduced extra patrols after they reported the presence of a “stalker” near campus on Sept. 24. The individual has been seen “exhibiting inappropriate behavior” to community members on campus on three occasions. Encounters with the same individual have also been reported in the Marina and at Alamo Square. In a recent decision, the drivers of the Public Safety shuttle are now strictly unarmed Community Safety officers.

If students are feeling unsafe, they can make use of the Night Safety Program, which provides a scheduled shuttle service to and from anywhere within the predetermined one-mile radius of campus. The program is co-run by the Department of Student Leadership and Public Safety. Depending on a “case-by-case basis” students may also be driven to St. Mary’s Medical Center and Kaiser Hospitals. The only thing the program rejects are rides from bars. “Unless there’s an issue [where] a student is asking for help at a bar, we generally don’t pick up and drive to bars,” Lawson said. 

The Night Safety Program has two shifts. The first is from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. Sunday through Wednesday, with a last call shuttle at 12:30 a.m. The second shift is 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. Thursday through Saturday, with a last call shuttle at 2:30 a.m. Students can call Public Safety at (415) 422-4201 to be connected to the service.

Taleah Johnson is a senior sociology major and a general assignment reporter for the Foghorn. She can be reached at tjohnson1@dons.usfca.edu.

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