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WICHITA, Kansas — The Wichita State University Police Department is welcoming students and parents back to campus, trying to alleviate fears and concern as their kids head off to college.
A few changes on campus are helping make all students safer.
“We really truly don’t have big issues with either one on campus,” says Wichita State University Police Chief Sara Morris about drugs and alcohol.
Her enemy is petty theft.
Making sure students know to keep their personal property safe is one of her reminders as students get ready to head back to class.
She’s also reassuring parents.
“If something happens on campus they get a text, email the parents can sign up, they can be notified the same ways, there are message boards across campus where everything goes out,” says Chief Morris.
That assures parents like Russ Gooden, who’s attending orientation with his son Joshua.
“I know that he’s gonna be well protected, he’s got a level head and knows how to communicate, I tell him be aware of his surroundings and he’ll be able to,” says Russ.
This year there are changes on campus for example a former parking lot is now a construction site.
The campus police department wants to prevent the cars that used to park in this lot from parking in outlying neighborhoods, so they’re offering a well-lit, safe option so commuters can drive on in and still get to class.
“Where people can park up at the Hughes Metroplex at 29th and Oliver in a well lighted parking lot, an area where officers patrol on a routine basis and ride a shuttle and basically get front door service,” explains Chief Morris.
All to keep students like Joshua safe.
“I think about taking care of my stuff, when I leave places I think, dad…do I have my wallet and car keys?” laughs Joshua.
There are a series of videos on the Wichita State University’s Police Department web page that walk parents and students through various scenarios to help them prepare before they arrive on campus for class this fall.