Officers watch campus, give escorts: Racer Patrol provides service to Murray State students

Kate Russell/The NewsAaron Burkeen, a sophomore from Murray, checks one of the many call boxes on campus.Kate Russell/The News
Aaron Burkeen, a sophomore from Murray, checks one of the many call boxes on campus.
Kate Russell/The News Aaron Burkeen, a sophomore from Murray, checks one of the many call boxes on campus.

Kate Russell/The News
Aaron Burkeen, a sophomore from Murray, checks one of the many call boxes on campus.

Sporting bright yellow T-shirts while patrolling campus, Racer Patrol stand out from the rest of the student body.

According to David DeVoss, chief of Murray State police and director of Public Safety and Emergency Management, said Racer Patrol officers on campus serve an enormous benefit to the University, which sometimes can go unnoticed by students.

“It is impossible to measure the value of having Racer Patrol at Murray State,” DeVoss said. “Their presence on campus ensures the safety of all who work and live here, whether their services are always taken advantage of or not.”

Racer Patrol, which consists of 16 students, does a variety of security and safety measures throughout the campus 365 days a year.

Some of these tasks include patrolling campus, conducting surveillance, reporting and preventing crime and helping students who are in need of assistance with services such as escorts across campus.

So far this year, Racer Patrol has provided six escorts to students, a decrease from the beginning of the Fall 2012 semester, which had 49 requests from students for escorts by the end of the semester.

DeVoss said he attributes these low numbers to students feeling safer on campus with the presence of Racer Patrol.

“I think students feel a sense of security and safety when they see Racer Patrol located throughout campus,” DeVoss said. “But they still need to be aware of their surroundingsat all times and contact Racer Patrol if they ever need to.”

Escorts can be requested by any student, faculty or staff member by calling 809-2222 or by using any of the call boxes located throughout the main campus.

Laura Boden, junior from Louisville, Ky., said she takes comfort in knowing Racer Patrol is there if she ever needs them, especially at night.

“Having Racer Patrol patrolling campus helps me to feel safer,” Boden said. “I know if I ever need anything, they will be there.”

Racer Patrol provides patrolling throughout the campus each night of the week from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Cody Ramage, junior from Mayfield, Ky., who has been employed by Racer Patrol for the past two years, said giving the student body peace of mind is his main goal as a member of Racer Patrol.

“Although some students may not always take us seriously, I know that several (students) feel better having our presence on campus,” he said.

Ramage said he plans on going into law enforcement when he graduates, and his experience with Racer Patrol has helped in preparing him for the future.

Racer Patrol officers are not required to be studying in the criminal justice field. Students of all majors are welcome to apply.

Those who do apply must go through additional background checks and training before they can officially become Racer Patrol officers.

Said DeVoss: “Our University cannot measure the value of having our Racer Patrol on campus and all that they do.”

 

Story by Rebecca Walter, Staff Writer