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Ohio State launches new initiative to keep students safe

The Buckeye Block Watch is a safety initiative to increase patrols around the University District, Ohio State says.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Columbus Police arrested people involved in a carjacking near campus that happened near the UDF at West 12th Avenue and North High Street Friday night. University officials say nobody was hurt.

This comes as the university launched its new Buckeye Block Watch to keep students safe. The Buckeye Block Watch is a partnership between Block by Block and Community Crime Patrol, CCP.

The patrols will monitor the University District Wednesday through Saturday, from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m.

“Just having a presence is a really great thing; if you see these folks with their bright orange jackets, in their logos, and you know they're part of the community, they're part of the university effort, there a little preventative in that way,” said TJ Logan, Associate Vice President of the Residential Experience, OSU.

The off-campus area has dealt with an uptick in crime since the beginning of this school year.

Columbus police said they monitor robberies, burglaries, and aggravated assaults.

At the height of the problem, there were 15 incidents in one week. Now, Columbus police said they're seeing about three to four a week.

“We've increased our patrols so high visibility in the area,” said Commander Dennis Jeffrey with Columbus police.

The university said these patrols started this week. They also say these officers are not sworn law enforcement officers and are separate from the Columbus Division of Police, so they will not have any arrest powers, nor will they carry firearms.

We reached out to a group of Ohio State mothers who have been outspoken against crime near campus.

Those parents were not available for an interview, but gave us a statement, saying “it's a positive step forward...But it's only a small measure to address a big problem."

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