West Lafayette ranked 13th on SafeWise’s “30 Safest College Towns in America -2016”. The security company analyzed the most recent FBI crime statistics from 2014 and counted the number of crimes committed in American cities with at least one university. Those numbers were weighted to account for differences in population and other city-specific factors. Programs at each college town that promoted health and safety were also accounted for.
SafeWise describes Purdue as a “leader in both education and social change”- values that show through Purdue’s “campus safety and security efforts”. The company described notable safety programs at Purdue, stating “Both the university and city police departments are diverse and inclusive, incorporating bike patrols and an elite K-9 unit. Certified drug and explosives dogs are used to help provide a safe environment for Purdue’s staff, faculty, students, and visitors”. The environment surrounding a college is just as vital as its academics, and Purdue’s reputation as a safe place for its students and faculty is an important accomplishment.
Students at Purdue seem to agree with SafeWise’s ranking. One sophomore, Heema Patel said “I do agree with the ranking. I feel safe walking around campus because there are always other people around, and we have our own police and fire department”. Another student elaborated further, saying “I generally feel safe on campus as long as I’m with someone, and I don’t usually go out alone when it’s dark. My bike was stolen a while ago. I reported it to the campus police but haven’t heard back”. This perhaps points to holes in the current safety systems regarding stolen property. Some students were unsurprised by the ranking. Freshman Shelly Tan explains “It’s not like we’re a big city or in a very populated area like New York or Boston or San Francisco or what have you, which means we don’t draw attention. Also, there’s plenty of safeguards like the blue boxes and text alert system accessible to basically every person on campus, which I’m sure helps a lot”.
Students at Purdue seem to feel safe on campus, though there is always room to improve. Safety at night will become more important especially as the weather becomes cooler and sunset occurs earlier. The fact that Purdue is not located in an urban area should be taken advantage of, as crime rates are lower overall in non-urban areas and thus easier to control. However, as a whole Purdue seems to be taking its responsibility to maintain a safe environment seriously.