A moderated town hall-style meeting to address issues of safety in the College Park community will take place on Wednesday April 6, 2011 at 6:00 PM in Jimenez Building Rm. 0220 on campus. This building is directly across the street from Stamp Student Union. Screened questions coming from members of the audience. For the panel, University Police, the Prince George’s Country Police, the local College Park Officials, Administration, and representatives from the student body have been invited to speak. The audience will consist mainly of students and College Park residents. The main topics of discussion will include safety, but will also cover other issues that the audience finds important.
As a senior at this university, I love College Park as much as the next student. However, over the last four years I’ve seen on and off-campus safety become an increasingly serious issue. Seemingly every week the Diamondback reports about crimes in College Park. Crime is to be expected as a city grows, and there is no question that over these last few years College Park has been transforming and expanding. Most of that transformation has been beneficial, but this city has also transformed into something I never thought it would be. It has become dangerous. Ensuring the safety of the community has been put on the back burner. In the last year alone there were 13 murders in 13 days, stabbings, muggings, and sexual assaults. The level of crime in the city is only rising and really getting out of control.
Also, let’s not forget about the riot last year that made national news. I know the student’s haven’t. The riot has caused increased tension between the students and the police. Many students do not trust the police and question whether they have their best interests in mind. From a student’s perspective, we see police concentrating on closing bars, breaking up parties, and issuing massive numbers of tickets. What we do not see them doing is protecting us, and the College Park community. It’s time for the city to reassess their priorities, and make College Park safe again.