Abduction try has ODU students worried about police staffing

Posted at 7:09 PM, Jul 08, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-08 19:09:14-04

Norfolk, Va. - Naeema Toure says when the sun sets, she retreats to her dorm.

"I try to be in my room before it gets dark," the senior said. "Because every time we get a campus alert, it's always between 11 p.m. and 3 a.m."

The latest alert that rattled her came July 6, when a female student reported a man tried to snatch her outside the library. She escaped. There have been no arrests.

Toure says she doesn't see as many campus police and security officers in the summer as she does during the school year. But PhD. student Madeline Clark says, to her, the police force looks the same year round, and she feels safe.

In an email Tuesday to NewsChannel 3, an ODU spokesman said the police force doesn't shrink in the summer. But on Wednesday, NewsChannel 3 was unable to find out exactly how large that force is.

Wednesday morning, we asked that question, and ODU officials said they would work on getting an answer. But so far, no numbers have been provided. In 2013, federal numbers show ODU had 46 officers for its almost 25,000 students. That's 1.8 officers for every 1,000 students. That ratio puts ODU 18th among the state's 26 public schools when it comes to the student-police ratio, according to FBI data.

Last year, ODU police had so many vacancies that a police-union representative told university officials the thin force represented a "safety hazard" to the community.

Toure said when night falls on the campus, it's just to dangerous to leave her dorm.

"You don't want to get robbed or killed," she said.