Ohio University to Spend $1 Million on Security Following Sexual Assaults

Ohio University to Spend $1 Million on Security Following Sexual Assaults

After more than a dozen sexual assaults on campus, Ohio University is looking to increase security on campus.

Now is the time for university and college campuses to begin ramping up their security to protect students from sexual assaults on campus. For instance, Ohio University in Athens says it will spend about $1 million to upgrade to high tech security solutions.

More than a dozen sexual assaults have been reported to OU or Athens police since the beginning of the Fall 2018 semester. The university says the dollars will go towards 400 new, high definition cameras that will, hopefully, make solving crimes easier.

"Housing Residence Life is funding the full cost of this project through student housing fees," the OU Executive Director of the Division of Student Affairs Pete Trentacoste told a local news station. "The total costs right now is in the neighborhood of $800,000, so just shy of a million, and operating costs that are $80,000."

Ohio University campus police say they have had four instances of sexual assaults reported to them, including two rapes. The Athena Police Department says they have taken reports on 10 cases. 

"It's not just a police problem, it's a community problem," said OU Police Lieutenant Tim Ryan. "Yes we can do what we can do in patrolling but we need people to be aware and we're really trying to focus on education to people to know what consent is."

OU Police believe the new cameras will be a big help. The cameras will be capturing footage all over the campus 24/7 and will give police a way to identify suspects and gather evidence against them. In addition to the new cameras, the campus is looking to add more lighting to certain parts of campus that become dark at night.

For now, there is no official timeline for the rollout of the cameras, but the university says they have already started the process.

About the Author

Sydny Shepard is the Executive Editor of Campus Security & Life Safety.