GREENSBORO, NC — College students are heading back to school this month and we know parents and students may have questions along the way! So the Good Morning Show’s ‘Ask the Chief’ series continues with Elon University Police Chief Dennis Franks.
Morgan Hightower asked Chief Franks the one thing he would tell parents to make sure their child knows before heading off to college? Chief Franks said parents should teach their kids the importance of remaining vigilant, using the buddy system.
When WFMY News 2 looked back at stories we’ve done over the past year, we noticed Elon University hasn’t experienced too many crimes. There was one incident of fraternity hazing, fraternity trespassing, and a student hit by a car in the crosswalk. Thankfully that student survived and is recovering. But Elon University doesn’t seem to have a major crime issue, which Chief Franks attributed to the university’s community policing initiatives. That includes sworn officers on bike patrol and foot patrol on campus. It also involves a neighborhood policing program, where officers routinely patrol specific areas and work to get to know the students in that area to improve the relationships between police and community. Chief Franks said he believes that contact reduces the potential for crime and if it does happen, students know who they can report to.
Chief Franks also answered some questions from viewers.
Vanessa Corbett asked what plans will campus police implement to reduce robberies and sexual assaults on campus?. Chief Franks said officers being in the community, and being visible can hep reduce crime. When it comes to reducing sexual assaults, he said Elon has several resources on campus and educational opportunities for students to reduce incidents.
Steven Shell Jr. asked is it possible to cut police department budgets saving tax payers. Chief Franks said Elon Police Dept is a private university and is not funded by taxpayer dollars, but they still try to watch their budgets.
There were a few questions Chief Franks didn’t have time to answer on air. So he answered them in a web extra.
Elon University has 17 sworn police officers. The town of Elon has 15 sworn officers and both sets of officers can respond to incidents on or around campus. But Elon University also has 20 community service officers on staff. Those positions are not sworn, wear different uniforms, and don’t carry weapons. They can respond to jump start cars, lock and unlock doors, respond to fire alarms and work on parking enforcement. But Chief Franks said they can also get on radio to the sworn officers if they see anything happening on campus, and can be additional eyes and ears on campus.