COLUMBUS, Ohio — Students are back the campus of the Ohio State University. Last fall, the area on and around campus saw increases in incidents of aggravated robberies and thefts.
There's a joint program that is aimed at curbing crime.
"We are really excited to have the students back," said Ohio State University Police Deputy Chief Eric Whiteside.
It's not uncommon to see Columbus police and Ohio State police in the same areas. Now, the two departments are working together on joint patrols to make a bigger impact.
“We want to work together. How can we share those resources and how can we become more effective? The concept was to put a team of officers together so they can work together in off-campus student neighborhoods so we can bring the resources of both agencies together on a daily basis,” Whiteside said.
The expansion of a joint patrol is one of the last recommendations from the university's safety task force that met last year.
Ohio State police responded to 20 incidents during the weekend of the Buckeyes' first football game, including nine theft reports.
“Each agency has resources, we share a common population we want to serve. Crime problems don't have jurisdictional boundaries,” Whiteside said.
The joint patrol will consist of about three Ohio State officers and three to five Columbus police officers. Last year, there was only one officer from each department.
People will see a group of officers from both departments, likely on bikes, on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m.
“We really encourage our students to look for them, to see them, to wave, to engage with them. That's what we want our officers to do. We want them go out and we want them to engage with our population. We think that's the best way that we are going to be successful,” Whiteside said.