Crime Watch: CSU police increase security to combat drugs - WRBL

Crime Watch: CSU police increase security to combat drugs

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COLUMBUS, Ga. -

Drug concerns near Columbus State University's River Park campus have led to the arrests of two men, and police are looking for another. Now campus police are stepping up their presence in uptown.

Keeping drugs away from students is a problem every college police officer faces. CSU Police Chief Rus Drew says when the campus is located in the middle of an area that caters to night life, however, the issue is even more pressing.

"It is definitely a more unique challenge than the main campus, a traditional campus environment," says Chief Drew. "Being in that urban setting absolutely represents those challenges, but there's also some good things for college life that it represents and we recognize that."

After an increase in complaints about drug activity near student housing downtown, CSU officers have been out in full force. Over the weekend they arrested Mauritius Thomas and Melvin Williams, who were found with marijuana, but Chief Drew suspects other drugs could be involved.

Now the department is working with other agencies to locate Demetrius Cortez Johnson, who escaped from police on foot after a car chase led into Phenix City. The chief says Johnson is no stranger to the law and has an extensive wrap sheet.

Chief Drew says while protecting students is of utmost importance, a major concern is that during the summer months the residence halls are occupied by younger kids attending camp. The recent increase in police presence, however, is already having an effect. Ian Kibby will be a student at CSU in the fall and says, "After it was mentioned to me, I've noticed actually quite a few just in a couple seconds that have been going by."

Prospective CSU student Shelby Higdon says, "The bar scene being right next to a dorm doesn't really concern me because I'm not into that kind of thing. You just have to learn to be responsible and discipline yourself."

Chief Drew adds, "We look to continue that presence for the next few weekends to hopefully subside those complaints, and hopefully proactively make it the safe place that we know it is."

He says it's important to stem the drug problem on the streets before they reach the dorms. He says the residences already have great security measures, with electronic key entry and a constant police presence inside the buildings.

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