PROBLEM: Local college students are victims of property crimes, usually at a much higher rate than the common citizen. Frequent crimes in this demographic include; non-forced entry at off-campus rentals, car break-ins, laptop thefts and bicycle thefts. In the majority of cases, precautionary steps could have been taken by the victims to prevent these crimes from occurring.
PLAN: During the 2012-2013 school year, EPD’s Crime Prevention Unit partnered with a Public Relations Campaigns class at the UO to determine better ways for EPD to increase student awareness of preventable crimes. The PR team developed a student outreach internship to help EPD’s Crime Prevention Unit connect and relate to students.
PROJECT: The interns were tasked with developing and executing improved methods of communication between university students and EPD’s Crime Prevention Unit. For the first part of the project, the interns created short video testimonials from fellow students who have been victimized by preventable crimes. They will now share the videos via social media in an effort to spread the message that “it can happen to them.”
• Kelcie Goetsch – Junior - Public Relations and Advertising
• Holly Jefferis – Senior - Public Relations
• Kailla Coomes – Senior - Journalism
EPD’s Crime Prevention Unit spends countless hours and resources attempting to educate students about how to protect their property. The unit hosts large events and partners with various entities to try and spread the message about “prevention,” while continuing to look for new and innovative ways to improve communication with students. EPD and Crime Prevention are hopeful that the strategy created by the student interns will lead other students to take the steps necessary to protect their property and become more informed about “prevention.”
Media can meet the students and learn more about the project this Friday, 11 a.m., at the Eugene Police Department at 300 Country Club Road, in Eugene.