Washington University: Whistles Only Part Of Campus Safety Approach

The school says it has expanded use of closed circuit television and 'blue phones' off campus.

Washington University officials are pushing back against a conservative blog that says the school is now handing out 'rape whistles' after a pair of recent off-campus incidents.

Steve Givens, the Associate Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs at Washington University said the school notified off-campus residents of a pair of incidents, a burglary in the 7300 block of Forsyth on January 21 and a robbery at Rosedale and Waterman January 24.

Givens said the school has offered safety whistles for roughly 15 years. The whistle is known as "The Defender," and according to materials handed out by the school, "can signal your need for help, frighten away someone who means harm to you, or alert others to call the police. The whistle is safe, non-violent, and, when carried on a key-chain, cannot be used as a weapon against you."

Givens said the school has expanded the use of closed-circuit television in off-campus neighborhoods, and has worked to improve lighting in areas surrounding the campus, among other security measures.

A blog on CampusReform.org quoted a spokesman for Students For Concealed Carry who was critical of the whistles and instead called for the school to repeal a ban on firearms on campus.

Givens said the whistles are only a piece of the security puzzle, which he said also includes close cooperation between University Police and nearby jurisdictions, security patrols in neighborhoods near the school, and extended use of blue-light phones off campus.

Billy Frank Thornton February 02, 2013 at 07:14 PM
Violent crime in and around the Washington University campus is very disturbing. These students are the best and brightest...worldwide, and is more precious than the continued movement to neuterize society. If University authorities had a handle on campus/off-campus security...so called "conservative" law biding students would not have bullets. As a former police officer (10 years), I've seen plenty of victims. Those discouraging personal self protection have obviously not seen enough victims of violent crime. Maybe these security officials will arm the campus police with crime whistles.


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