Columbia, SC (WLTX) - University of South Carolina President Harris Pastides says there will be an additional police presence at the school following three recent campus incidents.
Pastides released a letter to the university Monday outlining the changes. Starting this week, Pastides says, there will be more uniformed and plainclothes officers on campus and increased police patrols throughout the day and night.
The statement comes after three incidents--two involving claims of a gun--were reported over a period of several days. On August 21, a student reported a suspect pulled a gun on him while he was walking on USC's Horseshoe in a robbery attempt, and forced him go back to his dorm. The next day, two female students say a different suspect exposed himself to them during the afternoon as they were walking near Pickens and Greene Street.
The suspect in that case was taken into custody. Previous Coverage:Man Accused of Exposing Himself to Women
Finally, on Sunday morning, the school issued a campuswide alert after a report of a man with a gun near the Russell House. Police were never able to confirm if a shooter was actually there.
No injuries were reported in any of those cases.
"We have several experienced investigators and intelligence officers assigned to the cases following every lead and we are working with Crime Stoppers and other local agencies to develop additional leads," Pastides wrote Monday.
Anyone with information should call Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC, or e-mail a tip in to www.midlandscrimestoppers.com. You can also text information in by texting "TIPSC" plus your message to CRIMES (274637). Either way you choose, your identity will remain anonymous, and you could be eligible for a cash reward.
Below is the full text of Pastides's letter:
The safety and security of our campus is our highest priority. Over the last several days, three incidents were reported on campus that have challenged our physical security and threatened our peace of mind. I am thankful to report that no member of the Carolina community has been physically harmed in these incidents and the response from the USC police department has been superb. We have worked diligently to address campus safety and we are prepared to do even more.
Beginning this week, we will provide additional police presence — uniformed and plainclothes — on campus and increase directed police patrols at various times of the day and night to deter crime and help keep our community safe.
For the past several years, we have been investing additional resources in the USC police department for new officers and equipment that will allow us to implement these enhanced services and operations. In addition, we have added several dozen additional cameras across our campus and enhanced several call boxes to continuously develop and enhance the campus safety infrastructure. Furthermore, we have invested in new mobile technology that will enable our community to more easily communicate with USCPD. More details on that will follow in the coming days.
Regarding the three recent incidents, we have several experienced investigators and intelligence officers assigned to the cases following every lead and we are working with Crime Stoppers and other local agencies to develop additional leads. I am pleased to report that an arrest has been made in one case and appreciate the quick actions of our community members that helped lead to that arrest.
I also note with concern recent crimes that have affected neighboring universities and areas of the city and implore all members of the Carolina community to review these safety tips, simple precautions that may prevent tragedy on campus or off. Finally, I continue to encourage Carolina students to embrace the tenets of "Stand Up Carolina," which strengthen our sense of community and encourage students to react and take appropriate action with respect to unacceptable behavior.
Despite these three incidents, the year is off to a great start and the coming week will be one of excitement as we kickoff the football season. Let's enjoy it as a family, being responsible and remaining diligent as we look out for one another.