After a reported armed sexual assault shocked campus in April, the Department of Public Safety announced plans to launch a sexual assault defense program for female students on Wednesday at a safety open forum in the Intercultural Center Auditorium.

DPS Director Jeffrey Van Slyke administered the Rape Aggression Defense Systems during his tenure as public safety chief at the University of Texas. The program, which is the country’s largest women’s self-defense program and is taught at more than 1,400 U.S. colleges and universities, focuses on self-defense tactics and risk reduction. It will be open for all female students on campus.

“The RAD program is in the planning [and] infancy stage. I am in the process of a cost analysis of the training and equipment, and then will proceed with identifying who from DPS will lead the program,” Van Slyke said.

DPS has also been working to strengthen the relationship between the university and Allied Security, its main contracted outside security group, said Vice President for University Safety Rocco DelMonaco. April’s reported sexual assault took place in LXR Hall, which, at the time, was guarded by Securitas, another Georgetown-hired security company. A DPS representative now attends the Allied roll call in Village A before the midnight shift

These actions come along with other security measures DPS has taken in response to the assault, including repairing the alarm systems on all doors in LXR and placing a DPS hub in the LXR lobby.

DelMonaco and Vice President for Student Affairs Todd Olson joined Van Slyke in the ICC Auditorium in addressing a small of group of students on campus safety plans for the upcoming year.

DPS officers on campus will be outfitted with new uniforms, Van Slyke said, which will include khakis and a blue shirt for Class B officers as well as special uniforms for the officers on the bike patrol. Each uniform will be supplied with business cards with the officer’s name, e-mail address and mission statement.

DelMonaco also acknowledged that lighting on campus is not sufficient, a problem that raises several complaints.

“The orange lights, sodium vapor lamps, are very cost efficient, but unfortunately don’t light much,” he said. “We’re trying to replace these lights once they burn out with brighter, white lights . and an area of interest is the library steps. These white lights will respond better to our [closed circuit television cameras] as well.”

Van Slyke laid out his vision for the Adopt-a-Cop program, in which DPS checks in on residence halls, apartments and townhouses at least twice during a shift, attend residence hall meetings and try to build relationships with students living in the dorm.

Jake Styacich (COL ’09), a member of the Student Safety Advisory Board, which co-hosted the forum along with the Office of University Safety, said that the program has already greatly improved DPS’s visibility on campus. “We hope more personal contact between residents and officers will translate into a safer, closer campus community,” he said.

Van Slyke concluded by raising the possibility of adding a new component to the university’s public safety team.

“Jack the Bulldog has expressed to me great interest in becoming DPS’s first canine unit,” he joked.

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