by: Jenna Deery Updated:
Two police departments are doubling up security for students at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte as some apartments continue to have problems with crime and the area continues to grow.
Eyewitness News reporter Jenna Deery learned how far campus police plan to go to keep students safe.
The Blue Line light rail is set to open next year in University City that will bring more people to an area that is already one of the fastest growing in the Charlotte.
Campus police said continuing the collaboration with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department is crucial.
UNCC campus Police Chief Jeff Baker said his officers have tried to keep up with the rapid growth in University City.
“We've got a population right now off campus about 15,000 within 1 mile of the campus,” Baker said.
Campus police took on more responsibility five years ago by patrolling areas where students were outside of class including bars, restaurants and student apartment complexes around UNCC.
“It helps because we have our direct outreach to our students,” Baker said.
Campus police would like to keep their relationship with CMPD to keep extra eyes on student life.
University officials are asking Charlotte City Council next week to keep the partnership going and allow campus police the ability to police the new light rail stops that will soon near campus.
Brittany Everett's fears stem from what she's experienced as a student at apartment complexes off campus.
“My concern living in the university area was the train going halfway on campus and the crime that may increase because now you have people who can access the campus from uptown,” Everett said.
She said more security is needed.
“A lot of partying and other people from outside the campus coming on to the apartment complex,” she said. “A lot of crime.”
She's hoping extra police watching what's happening around her will mean extra peace.
“Them doubling up really helps,” she said.
The extended jurisdiction means campus police have full law enforcement authority, even when off campus.
They also have the authority to hold students accountable with the school if they're caught causing trouble off campus.
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