NORMAL, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — Following rumors last week of attempted abductions on and near the Illinois State University campus, students have been concerned about each other’s safety.
Senior Heng Vong said he has been telling his friends not to walk home alone at night.
“If their friends or their girlfriends are walking home alone, like make sure they don’t do that, make sure you walk home with them or have a friend walk with them,” said Vong.
ISU Sergeant Mike Gardner said there are options for students feeling unsafe when trekking across campus.
One program ISU police oversee is Students on Patrol, or STOP for short. The program allows students to apply and be trained to patrol the campus in pairs.
They’re then available to walk with students to their destinations and look for hazards across the campus.
“After the students attend the training session, they’re provided the opportunity to go out and be those eyes and ears, to see safety violations, to see lights that are burned out, just those kinds of things that can create dangerous situations,” said Sergeant Gardner.
Besides the STOP program, he said students can also use the Safe Redbirds app to request a safe walk around campus.
“We always have 24/7 security guards on the campus that provide those same safe walks, every day of the year doesn’t matter what time you want that safe walk,” said Sergeant Gardner.
And blue light emergency stations around campus can be used to get into direct contact with police.
“The moment you push it, the light goes off, plus our dispatcher gets a call and they know exactly where that phone is, so even if nobodies talking on the other end they send an officer or two there to see what the issue is if there’s an actual emergency or not,” said Sergeant Gardner.