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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Police beef up security at UA dorms

    Security cameras and overnight police patrols have been implemented to create a safer environment at Manzanita- Mohave Residence Hall after an incidence of sexual assault that occurred there April 12.

    “”I do (feel safer). I was just surprised that there weren’t cameras in here already,”” said Amy Jennings, a resident and a political science freshman.

    At the entrance of the hall, two small black bubbles cover two cameras that face the entrances, allowing security to identify possible threats.

    UAPD’s crime prevention unit has set up a patrolling officer for Manzanita-Mohave every day from
    10 p.m. until 10 a.m. for security.

    Coronado Residence Hall, 822 E. Fifth St., was fitted with new cameras just before the sexual assault occurred, and Residence Life was able to use Coronado’s old cameras for Manzanita-Mohave, though it was just a coincidence that cameras were available so quickly, said Jim Van Arsdel, director of Residence Life.

    The University of Arizona Police Department’s crime prevention unit has set up a patrolling officer for Manzanita-Mohave every day from 10 p.m. until 10 a.m. for security, said officer Micholjon Amado, who was just getting off duty Friday morning.

    “”It’s clear to me that students in general are very concerned about security right now,”” said Van Arsdel, attributing his concern to the Virginia Tech tragedy as well as the sexual assault incident.

    Van Arsdel said the recent events have heightened student awareness regarding residence hall security.

    On April 12, the suspect was in the residence hall before a student arrived and attacked her in one of the common areas, UAPD Sgt. Eugene Mejia said.

    “”You can’t walk in the dark without thinking about it,”” Jennings said.

    Though UAPD has received calls on sightings of the individual, described as a thin black male in his late 30s who may have a one-day growth of a beard without a mustache, no arrest has been made.

    “”It’s not like he wanted her money,”” Jennings said. “”He was waiting to rape someone.””

    Though other residence halls currently have security cameras, Residence Life does not have a plan to fit all of them with cameras, Van Arsdel said. Residence Life is hiring a consultant who often deals with this kind of security breach.

    “”Whether that takes us toward cameras or not we don’t know yet,”” Van Arsdel said.

    Residence Life has been working on CatCard access to the residence halls since last fall instead of the lock-and-key method used at Manzanita-Mohave, and it should be completed during the summer at all halls, Van Arsdel said.

    A sign on the entrances to Manzanita-Mohave continues to remind residents of proper safety precautions since the incident.

    The sign explains that for their safety, residents should not let strangers in the hall or prop doors open and that they should escort their guests at all times and lock their doors at night.

    Some residents are taking precautions of their own.

    “”I don’t take showers after 11:30 at night,”” Jennings said. “”I constantly tell my roommate where I am in the building.””

    Hall officials have also kept some entrances to the hall locked even to residents since the incident happened to limit the ways a stranger could enter, Jennings said.

    Police are still asking for any information on the incident, especially the name of the suspect. Call 911 or 88-CRIME if you have any leads on the crime.

    “”You live in the dorms because it’s supposed to be safer, but I’m glad I’m leaving,”” Jennings said.

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