According to a survey of 586 Youngstown State University students, faculty and staff, the YSU campus is considered safe, and the YSU Police Department is operating efficiently.
Of those polled, 92.5 percent felt that YSU is a safe campus, while 89.9 percent stated they were satisfied with the response time of the YSU officers. Additionally, 91 percent said they were content in the way their call was handled.
Participants that claimed to feel unsafe, said they felt so at night due to the lack of lighting and police visibility in the parking decks and on the campus core.
This is the first survey conducted under YSUPD Chief John Beshara’s term.
“I think YSU is a very safe campus, and the actual statistics show that. It is our duty to post crime statistics to the public. We do a very efficient job posting the crimes that do appear here on the university,” Beshara said.
YSUPD officer Donald Cox conducted the survey in conjunction with the YSU Criminal Justice department.
“I personally feel these results say a lot about the campus police, their professionalism and the way in which they interact with the campus community,” Cox said.
Beshara said positive safety statistics are at least partially the result of an updated Emergency Alert System — which was at no cost the campus. The alert system has the capability to reach out to individual buildings and students to alert of crimes and emergencies.
YSU also has a campus emergency callbox, student security aides and YSU Parking Services to further ensure safety.
Kim Bennett, a forensic science major, believes that the YSU Police Department demonstrates the satisfactory results of the survey.
“They do a great job. Whenever I have an encounter with any of the officers they are always kind and understanding,” she said.
Bennett has been living on campus for two years and said she has always felt secure, even during late hours.
“I feel safe because I see the police patrolling around the housing facilities when I come home at night,” she said.
Kevin Ragan, an intermittent police officer, provides security for university housing and events. Ragan ensures that unauthorized people do not gain access into the dorms and that unauthorized items do not enter the building.
“YSU students have the privilege of having a professionally trained, full-time police department available whose sole responsibility is the protection of university students, staff and property,” Ragan said.
Ali Macioge, mathematics major, said that the survey results are beneficial to the YSU community.
“Youngstown has a bad reputation and I think if more people saw this they wouldn’t be so nervous about going to YSU,” she said.