Volume 95, Issue 51

Friday, November 30, 2001
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Ivey Journal vs. Izzy Asper

Battle for Kandahar

Foot Patrol offers safety in numbers

Like Maestro Fresh Wes, Zander conducting thangs

MacIntyre discusses the 5th Estate

Is Canada getting dumber? Brain Drain debate rages on

Chapters CEO bans Hitler's Mein Kampf

News Briefs

Foot Patrol offers safety in numbers

By Kristina Lundblad
Gazette Staff

If you ever need someone to walk home with, Foot Patrol wants to help you out – it's their job.

Implemented at Western in 1989, Foot Patrol is one of the leading safe walk programs in Canada, providing students an escort to and from locations on-campus, said Foot Patrol co-ordinator Samantha Johnstone.

The program provided 3,479 escorts during the 2000/2001 school year, she added.

After the recent attacks near Fanshawe College, Johnstone said they received many additional calls, but said she wishes students would always take advantage of their service, not just when there is crime in the news.

Johnstone also noted 99 per cent of their calls are from females.

Foot Patrol's volunteers patrol sections of campus nightly and take escort calls throughout their shifts, she explained. They operate Monday to Sunday from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m., but start at 9 p.m. during reading week and in September.

If there is a problem, volunteers can radio the Foot Patrol operations manager who can contact the University Police Department immediately if necessary, she added.

While Foot Patrol has over 200 volunteer escorts, Johnstone stressed they always need more.

"Foot Patrol is an excellent opportunity for students to become involved in the Western community," said Const. Wendy McGowan from the University Police Department.

By walking all over campus, students become more involved and aware of their own environment, she said.

"It's another aspect of learning about safety, as opposed to just locking doors," she said.

Erin Eller, a second-year art history student, said she does not use Foot Patrol. "It's a good idea, but I feel safe walking on-campus," she said.

"This is a relatively safe campus, but things can happen," Johnstone said, encouraging students to always walk with someone to keep safe.

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Copyright The Gazette 2001