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RPD and University of Rochester team up to keep students along foot bridges

Posted at: 11/15/2012 5:00 PM
Updated at: 11/15/2012 5:46 PM
By: Amanda Ciavarri

The University of Rochester and Rochester Police have teamed up to keep students safer when they are walking to and from campus.

Last week, an officer began patrolling the foot bridges and trails that connect the Riverview apartments to the campus across the river.

One police officer will be patrolling on foot, and in his car the trails and foot bridges Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights from 11:00 am to 3:00 am. It is all to keep students safe and keep crime out of the area.

Ugochi Ndubuisi, University of Rochester student, said, “It's kind of scary walking back and forth.”

Many students at the University of Rochester use the foot bridges to get from where they live to campus. Now the Rochester Police Department is teaming up with the U of R to make sure they are as safe as possible.

Sgt. Justin Collins, Rochester Police Department, said, “We were approached by the University of Rochester to collaborate with them in regards to patrols down by the foot bridge. The cause of it isn't actually because of any incidents that happened recently. We actually haven't had many robberies down there over the last year, but it is more to be proactive.”

Rochester Police Officers now patrol the park trail that runs along the Genesee River from the Riverview apartments to the river campus side of the Lackawanna Pedestrian Bridge from 11:00 pm to 3:00 am Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. News10NBC spoke with students heading to class from their apartments.

Kaitlin Wozniak, student, said, “I live right there so its really nice that I have someone watching me when I walk the bridge especially since I stay late at the school so it's nice to know they are here when I come across the bridge.”
 
A university spokeswoman says paths have become a popular short cut for students. Students say they take them often, and will welcome the added security.

Ndubuisi said, “Really nervous. I'm trying to be aware I don't really have my head phones on, I try to walk at a faster pace cause you don't know who's going to be behind you or follow you or who's around here.”

The university spokeswoman says the patrol is a preventative measure she hopes students take seriously.

Sara Miller, University of Rochester spokeswoman, said, “The patrol is educational because we want to discourage students from taking that trail at night.”

Ndubuisi said, “It makes it safer for everyone around this area.”

Now while the property is owned by the city, the university is going to foot the bill for the added patrol.