Spring break is typically a time when students and staff receive a week off from classes to enjoy some downtime. However, not many people realize that university security doesn’t always get to enjoy spring break like the rest of Washburn.
While students pack up their bags and head home or on vacation to enjoy not having classes for a week, the Washburn University Police Department had to stay on campus to ensure the safety of those students who decide to stay in the dorms during spring break and to keep the campus safe.
When students head home or go on a vacation over spring break, campus security is in the hands of the university police. In this case, Washburn was left to the Washburn University Police Department. Because there were fewer students on campus, the crime rate was lowered drastically in that week without classes and activities.
On a normal school day, typically there are two to five Washburn Police officers patrolling campus, or on a busy day, such as one with prominent activity or a large group on campus, there could be up to 10 officers patrolling. During breaks, this is no different, according to Washburn University Police Department Captain Chris Enos.
Sometimes, even if students aren’t on campus, there still may be an event being held on campus. Enos said in that case they may have to adjust staffing to better suit the needs of that event.
“We had the same number of officers as always, but some of them were training or trying to utilize that time for meetings or other projects that may be going on,” Enos said. “They are still [on campus]; they may just be assigned different duties that day.”
If there aren’t any events on campus during break, usually the officers use that time to catch up.
“Sometimes, believe it or not, we get a little backed up on [filing crime] reports during the school year, but a break in the middle is helpful to catch up on things, as well as to work on projects that we have going. But that may have to be shelved during the school year while students are here.”
The downside to staying on campus while others aren’t, Enos said, is that it can get mundane if one works at an even less-busy time such as the overnight shift.
“[Washburn University Police Department] provides everyone on campus with a greater sense of security, knowing that we do have police available to help,” said Natalie Engler, sophomore criminal justice major.