WT students still feel safe despite rape investigation - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

WT students still feel safe despite rape investigation

Campus Police Chief Shawn Burns wants students to take charge of their own safety, to help prevent sexual assault and other crimes. Campus Police Chief Shawn Burns wants students to take charge of their own safety, to help prevent sexual assault and other crimes.
Kyler Hill says he's concerned for "the friends that I have... girls and stuff. Maybe watch out for them a little bit more than I would." Kyler Hill says he's concerned for "the friends that I have... girls and stuff. Maybe watch out for them a little bit more than I would."

Some WTAMU freshmen are settling into a dorm at the center of a campus rape investigation. Campus Police Chief Shawn Burns wants students to take charge of their own safety, to help prevent sexual assault and other crimes.

The safety tips are simple. "Walking in groups, walking with a purpose, being alert to your surroundings, just knowing the environment that you're in," he says. It's advice Burns says could have prevented an incident like the sexual assault a freshman reported over the weekend. Burns says the student visited an acquaintance at Jones Hall Saturday night, and told authorities the rape happened early Sunday morning.

The University has raised police presence, but parents and students alike tell us they're not alarmed. "I think things like that happen on campuses all over the country," says Kim Johnson as she moves her son into Jones Hall. "Sometimes they're reported, sometimes they're not. I think parents can feel safe sending their kids here." Her son, Kyler Hill notes he's concerned for "the friends that I have... girls and stuff. Maybe watch out for them a little bit more than I would."

Freshman Lindsay Wright is comfortable even with the news, calling WT "a very safe campus." Still, University officials have sent out crime alerts to encourage students to stay vigilant. "We take every case seriously, insists Chief Burns. "We investigate it to the fullest extent we can possible. We identify any suspects we can and we present that case to the criminal district attorney.

He expects to hand over the case to Randall County District Attorney next week. He adds police are looking for more students who may have heard or seen something at Jones Hall to help them put this case together.

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