New plan to keep ECU students safer revealed

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – A new plan to keep ECU students safer was revealed during a meeting with both the ECU and Greenville Police Chiefs Tuesday.

The plan is being called safe corridors, and will focus on making busy streets safer for students.

“We would put patrols specifically on 5th and 10th St. and also between certain areas based on the crime data,” said ECU Police Chief Gerald Lewis.

Students said this seemed like a good idea.

“I know from just walking the grid, it is dark like they said and just having that police presence,” said ECU Senior Ashley Cooke.

The plan would also make crossing streets safer. ECU Junior Ashley Sowa said currently it can be difficult to cross the streets, particularly during rush hour.

“I wait for no cars to go, and then usually groups of people go together and actually cross the street,” Sowa said.

The new plan was just one of things discussed during the meeting. Both Lewis and Greenville Police Chief Mark Holtzman also discussed ways to reduce crime on campus by getting students to increase their awareness of their surroundings.

Over the last three years, robberies on and off campus have remained steady with four in 2014 and 2013, and two in 2012. Burglaries have increased slightly with 19 in 2014, 16 in 2013, and 12 in 2012.

Lewis and Holtzman said the meeting gave them an opportunity to try to break down the barrier between police and the community.

“We’d like to hear some of the people’s concerns, some of their ideas,” Lewis said.

Holtzman said if all goes well with the safe corridors plan, more improvements to safety would follow.

“From there I think we can grow a long term plan through public works, some strategic planning with lighting, safer crosswalks, and things like that,” Holtzman said.

He said Tuesday’s meeting gave them the first real feedback from students about the plan.

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