Chief of University Police discusses tips on campus safety
February 11, 2019
Craig Jaccuzzo, Nicholls police chief, discusses how students can remain safe from crime on campus.
Safety on campus is a major issue and students at any college should know the first line of defense.
“Safety always starts with the individual first. Individuals know, or they should know, the situation that they are putting themselves in,” Jaccuzzo said.
The biggest problem on campus is that people are not locking their cars or their doors in the residence halls. Jaccuzzo agreed that this should be the first level of self defense for the victim. Students who do not follow these lines of self defense result in leaving their high dollar things for someone to take.
Jaccuzzo said that during his second year at Nicholls, University Police discovered a young girl was kidnapped in one of the campus parking lots. An individual with a mask approached the young girl, and he had full intention of harming her. The reaction she took is what saved her.
“She kept herself calm and talked the guy out of what he was going to do to her. Her mind and her ability to think on what she knew she didn’t want to happen kept her from becoming a harmed victim,” Jaccuzzo said.
When the situation was addressed, the criminal was then arrested. Jaccuzzo said that as a student, you should know your limitations, your weaknesses, strengths and know a good reaction to bring yourself to safety like the girl did.
“The mindset of a human being is the mindset you carry out when facing situations, so students need to understand that we are not immune from being a victim of a crime, but we need to train ourselves mentally and physically to how we will handle that,” Jaccuzzo said. “Some people can’t get physical and don’t know what it means to hit somebody else, but if you know that, then your reaction should be to scream loud, make noise or do something that causes attention to yourself.”
Jaccuzzo said students need to be aware of where they park their car and that sometimes the fastest route to class is not always the safest route. Students need to know their surroundings at all times, to know the lighting when walking around on campus at night and to know where the call boxes are in case of an emergency. These steps can help any person get to where they need to be safely.
“You come to Nicholls State University and you will get the best service that you can get. You come here and you will not be forgotten about because you are more than a number. You are a person here. The size of our institution provides a personal touch with being able to talk to higher administration when you don’t feel safe. Here you can sit in the chief’s office. You wouldn’t be able to do that at a place like LSU,” Jaccuzzo said.