Mercer Police increase safety measures

Before Christmas break, a robbery took place in one of the apartments on campus. The men involved fled the scene after robbing a couple of Mercer students inside their apartment.  Chief Gary Collins at Mercer Police said that “an arrest has not been made, but it is an ongoing investigation.”

The main concern is student safety on the campus.

“We think of these students as our own kids and we will do anything in order to ensure their safety,” said Collins.

Student awareness is something that Collins says is vital to their job. “If a student sees something going on or something out of the ordinary, do not hesitate to make the phone call.”

Mercer police is doing more now since the incident, and according to Collins, this is the first time that he has ever experienced a crime like this on the campus.

“Most of the crimes we get are property crimes where someone has left something laying around and their stuff is taken. We have never had something like this in all the years that I have been here.”

Mercer Police is looking into hiring extra officers and implementing more cameras in certain areas on campus, such as the bridge coming into the campus near the rain garden just down from the Mercer Police station. They have also looked into adding extra lighting on campus but said that Mercer is already a very well lit campus at night. He also said, “We are working with Mercer to ensure that faculty, staff, students and visitors are safe.”

Collins offered tips to students on how they could better protect themselves from things like this in the future. “Never open your door without knowing who is there, and if they cannot identify who they are, then call us.  Be more aware and walk in groups.”

Collins suggested that students may need to put Mercer police as well as the Bibb County Sheriff’s number in their contacts or speed dial to ensure that they can inform them as quickly as possible if something happens

Lt. Sean DeFoe at the Bibb County Sheriff’s office gave some advice for when students are on and off campus: “Students should call us if they are off campus and see something suspicious or call the campus police if its on campus and we will back them up.”

DeFoe also wants students to pay attention to their surroundings at all times in order to stay safe on and off campus: “Make sure when you are out in Macon to be aware of what is going on around you.”

With Mercer having more students than ever, it is key for everyone to stay aware and to be careful at night or when walking alone. Both Collins and DeFoe agree that students should always try and walk in groups and have the ability to call for help if something does happen. These are just some of the tips that can make a difference in terms of being the victim of a crime or avoiding these situations all together.

The numbers to get in contact with the BSO and Merpo are below.

BSO E-911 Call Center – 478-751-7500

Merpo- 478-301-4357