|Safe Walk provides comfort when walking alone|
|Written by Kasha Henricks, Daily Vidette Senior Staff|
|Wednesday, 25 April 2012 12:55|
If you ever feel uncomfortable, unsafe, or simply lost on campus, Safe Walk is available to lend a helping hand and ease that anxiety.
Securitas Security Company Supervisor, Raul Novaez, explained what Safe Walk is and expressed his own opinions and personal stories about the process.
“Any student, faculty, visitor, can call the police department and ask for Safe Walk. Pretty simple — they will ask what your name is, what you’re wearing, and where you’re at, where you’re going from or to. Then they will call us,” Novaez said.
The process of Safe Walk is quite simple but they have limits on how far they can physically walk someone.
“We walk with you, essentially escort you. We are limited about where we are allowed to go, so if you are going to say, Manchester, Tri-Towers, Hamilton — we get you to the door. We don’t go inside the building.” Novaez said.
“We have escorted people to their cars in parking lots, we have escorted people to a general area — because we kind of have an invisible border of how far we can go,” Novaez added.
Novaez explained how they have had regular Safe Walkers in the past.
“We do have one young lady who we actually started Safe Walking her last semester — she was over here at Hamilton and she was a regular,” Novaez said.
“Every Tuesday and Thursday you know that this young girl is calling and you knew where she was and where she was going. She felt good, she felt comfortable about it. This semester she came back — which is quite delightful for us — now we don’t see her as often,” Novaez added.
Although having regular Safe Walkers can be a delight, there can also be the unusual call that can lead to a need for back up.
“My personal strangest situation was — about 10:30 at night and they told us to meet at a corner and they were going way across campus to Atkin-Colby,” Novaez said.
“When I got there, this young gentleman was quite inebriated. It was literally one step forward, two steps back. I kept thinking I am going to be out here forever. It took almost fifteen minutes to walk two and a half blocks. This guy was really gone. I called up the PD and told them there is no way. And PD took over from there,” Novaez added.
Novaez explained that although the Safe Walk program is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, not as many people as they originally thought take advantage of the program and the safety benefits.
Gianna D’Amico, junior human resources major, explained why she appreciates the Safe Walk program.
“This service is really nice, especially when I want to leave a party early and all my friends want to stay. Now I don’t have to feel pressured to stay out extremely late just to get home feeling safe,” D’Amico said.
When escorting people for Safe Walk, there are a few courtesy measures Novaez believes people should grasp.
“The only thing we ask them to remember is we’re on foot. We have no vehicle. We are not motorized. The only thing I ask, if you are calling for Safe Walk, please be patient. We could be at the other end of the Quad, hang on, we’ll be there and we will get there as quick as we can,” Novaez said.
“We’ll make ourselves available. When we train our people and they are in the middle of locking up a designated building at a certain time and [there is] a call for Safe Walk, you stop. That safe walk comes first. That body feeling safe and feeling comfortable is more important than me locking that door,” Novaez added.
The security team's main goal is to make sure the ISU campus is kept safe and that everyone feels comfortable.
“I would encourage anybody for any reason to give [the police department] a call, that is essentially one of the many things we do here as a contract security company,” Novaez said.