As violent crimebig and small across the country, it is encroaching on what many have considered safe havens — college campuses, which are having to step up safety protocols in response.
The Chicago area has seen more than 1,000 homicides this year, according to Cook County Government. Three victims were University of Chicago students or recent graduates who were gunned down near the school this year.
Philadelphia broke its previous homicide record that was set in 1990, with 524 this year, according to the city’s police department. Several of the murders occurred near Temple University, including that of student Sam Collington who was recently killed by an alleged carjacker.
“That could’ve been me, that could’ve been someone I loved,” said Kais Jawawdeh, a student at Temple.
Ahmir Jones was shot in an attempted robbery near Temple on November 16. The 18-year-old’s mother, Melody Jones, blamed guns and urged those who are thinking about committing a crime to think about others.
“Just think before you react,” she said. “My son never did nothing to nobody.”
In light of the recent homicides around campus, Temple University said it plans to increase its police force by 50%.
Eric Heath, associate vice president for safety and security at the University of Chicago, said the school is using technology to try and get ahead of the violence.
“Police is not the only solution,” Heath said. “We are very focused moving forward in making sure that we have proactive strategies, real time data sharing, real time intelligence sharing.”