More police are on patrol at the University of North Alabama as students begin a new semester.
The extra patrols may help reassure students about their safety after last semester's string of sexual assaults and break-ins near the university.
Chief Bob Pastula said not only have they added 12 additional officers to the force, but one of those officers is specifically trained to handle all sexual assault and rape cases.
"The sexual assault crimes and rape crimes are pretty important events in a person's life, so I like to make sure we have the proper training and proper attention is paid to those particular crimes," he said.
Last fall's string of sexual attacks and break-ins in the city increased safety concerns across campus.
Pastula and his department quickly jumped into action making necessary changes to help put the campus community at ease.
"We have our standard snap patrols. We're doing extra patrols in the parking garage and around the campus," said Pastula. "I don't think there's any reason to walk in fear."
This semester the department has 26 officers - that's 12 more than last fall.
Pastula said they are also training additional crews to help in all areas of the department.
But he said his officers can't do it alone; they still need the community's help reporting any suspicious activity on or near campus, all hours of the day.
"We're out there for to provide that service to protect them, to keep them safe and out of harm's way. If you see something going on and if it's of an emergency nature, call 911," Pastula said. "If it's not of emergency in nature and you just want to let us know, they can either call us directly at 765 help number that's 4357, or they can send us an anonymous email and they can go on the website to get that."
Copyright 2013 WAFF. All rights reserved.
1720 Valley View Drive