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How safe are we, really?


Published: Saturday, February 9, 2013

Updated: Saturday, February 9, 2013 18:02


When choosing a college, you want to find a place that fits your personality well, along with your academic and sometimes athletic desires. 

But how many people think about a crime rate when looking at a school? Looking at something as important as your safety when deciding at what college or university you attend should be something that is required for the school to tell you when you apply.

 Not only should they attach an on campus report, but they should also attach whatever city your school is located in reports. 

I looked at the popular website, which allows users to type in their address and see a map with different colored dots surrounding the area typed in showing the locations of forcible rapes, violent crimes, murder/manslaughter, aggravated assault, property crime, and burglary. 

 When I typed in OU’s address, there were 42 offenders and 3 non-mappable offenders from Ottawa University as the middle of the map, and the surrounding 4 corner locations being Sand Creek Road to the Northwest, I-35 to the Northeast, Old State Highway 50 to the Southwest and Ottawa Municipal Airport to the Southeast. 

Ottawa compared to the national average, has less forcible rape, more violent crimes, more murder/manslaughter, less aggravated assault, more property crime and more burglary then the rest of the nation. 

To me, this is a scary. The closest convict is on South Cedar Street, the convicts address from campus is only 0.09 miles away according to Scary (,) right?

I’m not saying that Ottawa doesn’t seem like a safe town to me, I have personally never felt unsafe in this town whatsoever. 

But it is scary to look at the statistics and find out what was never shared with me. Ottawa is a great town; it was actually rated in the top 25 places to retire on CNN’s website. 

 They tell statistics about Ottawa on the same article, and when looking at those stats, Ottawa had 2, per 1,000, personal crime incidents, and 31, per 1,000, property crime incidents; these city stats where more than half what the best places average crimes were.

Ottawa has done a great job allowing on campus reports to be visible to people who are looking at the institution. On Ottawa’s website, under the Student Consumer Information and under the Health and Safety information there is a Campus Security Policies, Crime Statistics and Crime Log that is available for all of Ottawa’s campuses. 

When looking at the Ottawa KS Campus reports, they give a brief introduction talking about the mission statement, and campus safety procedures of Ottawa and then a very in depth description of the campuses procedures and policies. 

They then put a criminal offense record where one can actually see the difference from the current year and years past.

From 2009-2011, on campus, there have been 9 burglaries, 3 arrests for drug abuse violations, 4 disciplinary acts for drug abuse violations and a whopping 40 disciplinary actions for liquor law violations. Thankfully, there are only violations in 4 sections out of the 34 available.

With this information, I believe Ottawa should also put the town’s violations in a separate column next to the on campus violations so that the parents and students looking at this information can also put those into consideration. 

I am thankful to go to a school where I feel safe to walk around in at night, where a Gator and a security guard are usually only a few yards away. I understand all towns have crime, and I am thankful that my school makes it possible for me to see what kind of crime is on my campus. 

But I would like to also know what’s happening in the town of Ottawa as well so when walking down Cedar, I don’t just think about the convict that lives only 0.09 miles away. 

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