By Alex Falco, Daily Free Press Staff Writer
Boston University Police Officers gave a Rape Aggression Defense demonstration and met with students in the George Sherman Union Tuesday.
“This is a great opportunity for the department to get out into the community and meet the great students we have here,” said BU Chief of Police Thomas Robbins. “The benefit is just to let them know who we are and what we do.”
The department wants to erode negative student perceptions of the police and have them seen as someone to go to if in need, said Scott Paré, Deputy Director of public safety for BU.
Students could talk to a variety of officers ranging from the Chief of Police to the head of the RAD program. They could inquire about the RAD program or any of the other services that the BUPD offers.
“We are trying to educate the students,” Paré said.
The officers also addressed issues about non-violent crime on campus, particularly larceny. Around 60 percent of all crimes that occur on campus are larceny, said Robins.
The event was also intended to promote the attendance of BU’s RAD program said Paré. RAD is the rape defense program offer by the BUPD at the university.
“The RAD program is for the women on campus. It teaches self-awareness and self defense,” said Paré, “The biggest part is teaching females not to get into certain situations that they can become victims.”
The police department wants to increase enrollment so that all women on campus have the ability to defend themselves.
Most students who have taken RAD classes or seen demonstrations said that they are very beneficial and it makes them feel safer.
“I had actually never seen a RAD demonstration before, so I got to see how I would protect myself if someone came and attacked me, what to say and what to do if the situation ever came up” said Megan Pavani, a COM senior.
BU offers RAD classes at the Fitrec for one credit per semester.
“It’s really cool cause everything is really hands on,” Lindsey Mann, a COM freshman and a student in the RAD program said. “You are actually working with the sergeants and the cops, and you are fighting them but with body suits.”
Members of the administration were also present including Dean of Students Kenneth Elmore and Vice President of administrative services Peter Fiedler. Elmore participated in one of the RAD demonstrations.
“This is a very safe university to live in and exist in, but you have to be careful,” said Fiedler. “I think students need to be constantly aware of that and have to look after themselves first and foremost, protect themselves, and also protect their friends. It’s a team effort.”