Officials Offer Safety Tips as Students Return
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) — Many students returning to USC will, of course, pour into Columbia’s bars and clubs. University officials and the Columbia Police say they’re putting extra measures in place to keep students safe. Its been almost 2 years since a shooting a at Five Points left a USC freshman paralyzed… but some students say they’re still hesitant to return to the popular night spot. “Five Points, it’s kind of like a little sketchy area you don’t need to go over there… I wouldn’t go personally,” says Randall Worthy a USC student. As students return for the start of the Fall semester, CPD officials assuring that safety measures implemented since the shooting have made the area safer than ever. “We’ve added several other security features and just livability features in five points, we now have a transportation area that’s off of Santee street, the lighting has been changed, after that happened. there are a large amount of cameras in the area… all that was done in an event to create a safer environment in 5 points.” Authorities say that regardless of whether you’re in five points or any other part of the city students need to remain vigilant and be aware of their surroundings. According to CPD Deputy Chief Melron Kelly, “There will be officers in entertainment districts throughout the Columbia area. Always go in a group of people, make sure you plan out your evening if you are going to have alcoholic beverages always designate a driver or make necessary to travel by cab or trolley,” says Kelly. Officials with the university echo law enforcement’s advice recommending the buddy system and encouraging students to download the Rave Guardian app to their phones. According to Anna Edwards, USC Director of Student Services, “It’s almost like having a mobile call box with them, they can put anonymous tips they can call directly to USC PD. It’s just a great way for students to feel safe all the time.” And most importantly city and campus officials say if students should find themselves in a bad situation don’t hesitate to contact authorities.