EDITORIAL: DPS response to robbery boasts great possibilities

Illustration by Eleni Eisenhart / eleni.eisenhart@marquette.edu
Illustration by Eleni Eisenhart / eleni.eisenhart@marquette.edu

Online shopping  is one of the Internet’s many benefits. You can connect with different stores and services from anywhere. Easy access is the key and can be a great way to buy or sell anything from one-of-a-kind trinkets to past their prime vehicles.

There is, however, a downside. Not speaking to an individual or company directly can lead to some sticky situations, as two students were made aware March 22 in a Craigslist sale gone wrong. Their vehicle was stolen as the supposed buyer seemed set on getting the car for the low price of free.99.

In a fast response to the incident, the Department of Public Safety announced in news briefs the next day that it would offer its office lobby for the transaction of Craigslist deals. DPS also provided tips to ensure the safety of students who choose to sell property online.

It is positive to see DPS act so swiftly regarding a safety alert and trying to implement a campus-wide service that could help students. The announcement proves the campus force can be most effective when it emphasizes the safety of students rather than the policing of students.

Robberies like March 22’s could happen anywhere, but a college campus is a particularly vulnerable environment. Students selling or buying, probably for the first time, can be seen as targets by people who scam through Craigslist. While students may think they are better protected because of the proximity and prevalence of security forces nearby, incidents still occur.

Making transactions in the DPS lobby is a way for students to ensure their deal is legitimate and will likely go off without a hitch. This is a service that can promote the safety of students without interfering in their daily routine, instead helping them when they want help.

The service may not be used by all students as not everyone sells items on Craigslist, but it is a good source for students and is a step in the right direction for DPS. As the force undergoes changes, it is encouraging to see it working with students and the community to promote safety without becoming a negative force. DPS should continue to present itself as a positive aspect of the Marquette community through useful services for students and others on campus and beyond.

Marquette Student Government facilitated last month’s canceled “Sip and Stroll” event, and DPS was set to partake in the event. While it is unclear how this event would have gone, it was also a smart move, bringing DPS officers together with students on campus. The setting may have seemed a little forced, but the intentions of MUSG and DPS were genuine and can hopefully manifest in other programming.

The timely response of DPS to the earlier incident demonstrates how the force is willing to work with students to ensure safety and deter people from taking advantage of students on campus. With this instance in mind, it would be promising to see DPS continue down this path of meeting students’ needs and helping them where it matters.

Whether an event like “Sip and Stroll” is rescheduled remains to be seen, but based on actions in response to the Craigslist related robbery, there are many other opportunities for DPS to engage with students in a positive manner.