Police on the campus of Johnson C. Smith are reminding students to be proactive about their safety after two students were robbed near a new campus complex last month.
Johnson C. Smith just opened Mosaic Village in October. The building, which is a part of an ongoing revitalization project for the northwest corridor, is home to around 200 students and will soon include businesses.
"I like living over here. I feel like we have more freedom," said Shanae Bowman, a senior biology major.
But the location a few blocks from campus also means students are more exposed to the neighborhood.
Last month, just before campus closed for winter break, two students were robbed outside the building -- one in a rear parking lot and another on Bruns Avenue. JSCU and CMPD are still investigating the crimes.
Eyewitness News talked with campus police chief Gregory Harris about the crimes and how they are keeping students returning to class safe.
"We've put out various crime prevention techniques for them, things for them to understand how to go back and forth from this facility to main campus and how to do so safely,” Harris said.
"I either walk with a buddy or call somebody to tell them to meet me halfway," Bowman said. "Or if there's a group of people walking, I make sure I join the group."
Chief Harris said 24-hour security is stationed at Mosaic Village. Students can also request escorts in and around the area. In addition to working with CMPD to keep an eye on things, Harris said the campus police force will be expanding this year.
Mosaic Village was created in part to help transform the face of the neighborhood and with that, campus leaders hope to push crime out and change attitudes about safety.
"We're doing the best that we can to make the community feel safe," Harris said.
Harris said statistically, JCSU is one of the safest campuses in the state. Eyewitness News checked federal statistics, and there was one robbery on campus in all of 2011.