Kentucky campuses react to assault and threats on campus, and explain how they’re preventing future ones

Kentucky campuses are using technology and communication to protect students

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – For students, parents and universities, sexual assault on students is a serious concern.  Fortunately, statistically, random assaults don’t happen that often on kentucky campuses.  However, two recent cases provided an opportunity for schools across the state to remind students to put safety first.  News of an assault on January 30th broke across the University of Kentucky’s campus.

“A young lady was walking on campus during the early morning hours, and an individual came up from behind her and assaulted her,” reports Chief Joe Monroe of campus police.

Chief Monroe says more than 3,000 cameras guard the UK campus. This was how police caught the suspect, 34-year-old Aaron Elliot, who wasn’t a student.

“We were able to go back and look at some of the camera footage get some video footage and identify that individual by putting his picture out into a crime bulletin, and we got a tip that the individual was seen on campus.”

Campus police used it as a reminder to students to be safe and aware, not to be complacent and to download “Live-safe”.

“Its a mobile where we can walk with you virtually, where you are walking somewhere and have a panic button on your phone,” adds Monroe.

Small schools in small towns aren’t exempt.  According to the Wilmore Police Department, a student was arrested for solicitation of kidnapping.  Freshman Jonathon Mitchem, a young ministry major made comments online about wanting to kidnap a female student.  Using Snapchat, he acquired the names of his peers.  Student complaints alerted Wilmore. Like UK, Asbury used the case as a reminder to students of safety measures. In a statement, Asbury pushed its “Campus Shield Safety” app.

Still with all these safety measures and technology, students say the best method is using ones best judgement.  One way is by walking in groups and welcoming others when necessary.

“There’s never really like a girl alone and if they are alone me and my friends will usually take her in and walk her back to her dorm,” says Mariah Medina, a junior.

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