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UC freshmen get the word on safety

CINCINNATI (Deb Dixon) -- Many students starting school this year are coming to an urban environment for the first time.
All freshman and their parents got a lecture about how to have fun, get an education and stay safe.  It's not new that thugs pray on students they believe come to college with money, cellphones and in some cases, are a bit naive.  Tuesday, August 19th, 2014, night two students were robbed of money and cellphones.
It's common for young people to walk around campus with their head down or on the phone.  Thug robbers tell police they may as well have a sign on their head that says, "victim."

There is so much excitement for the future, college life and what comes with it.  There are new friends, the parties and police say they want the students to have it all.  And that means being smart, not book smart, but street smart.

"Your best safety is your own decision making.  Those decisions will decide your success or failure while you're at the University of Cincinnati," said Sgt. Jason Voelkerding of the Cincinnati police.
Parents and students seemed to appreciate the orientation safety talk.  Sgt. Voelkerding told parents and students what the bad guys tell them.

On Stratford in the weeks before school started after a house party, three teens came back to a house after it was over, kicked in the back door and tried to steal a PlayStation.   Residents chased them out that time but robbers say they wait outside for partiers to leave drunk and alone.

Corey butts of Warren, Ohio liked the police tips, "They weren't like strict, 'We want to arrest you.'  They were nice and let me know I'm going to be safe as long as I make the right decision, hang around the right people."

To help students make good choices UC offers some help.  There is a free nighttime shuttle service, a live-safe mobile app so students can call UC police, UC ambassadors who patrol off campus and will escort students and more lights on the streets. 173  of them to be exact.

Business major Tanner Buhrts of Groveport said  the police message made him feel safe.  And he's has bigger worries anyway, "I'm excited about college life.  Calculus, that's what I'm worried about... just calculus."

Follow Deborah Dixon on Twitter @crimestopperdeb and LIKE her on Facebook.




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