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University Students’ Parents Hire Private Campus Security Guards Amid Crime Concerns

Private security guards hired by concerned parents of some UC Berkeley students began patrolling the campus area late Wednesday after a spate of criminal incidents in the Berkeley area, according to reports.

The parent organization, called SafeBears, hired Streetplus, a downtown and improved district safety services provider, to beef up security around the university campus in a nearly three-week pilot program from March 6 to 23. report. SafeBears has reportedly raised about $40,000 for its security program, also named SafeBears.University plans to take over after March 23, CBS News report.

“After a series of violent incidents at the University of California, Berkeley, parents like me formed Safe Bears, an advocacy group dedicated to making California safe for students,” said President Safe Bears. says Sagar Jethani. wrote in an editorial Last April, we highlighted a range of security concerns, including: Cash App founder Bob Lee stabbed to death. “[U]Until Berkeley as a whole becomes safer, students will continue to be at risk,” Jethani added.

According to the Berkeley Scanner, six Safe Bears safety ambassadors patrol the area surrounding campus from 6:30 p.m. to 3 a.m. every day to physically deter crime in the area.

“They are subject to criminal background checks by the California Department of Justice and the Department of Justice. [Federal Bureau of Investigation]” Jesani Said ABC7 News Bay Area. “They are not carrying any protective equipment, nor are they carrying pepper spray or batons.”

Some of the ambassadors who work at Street Plus are military veterans, and Street Plus says the job is “ideal for military and reservists transitioning from active duty.” Website.

Jethani told ABC7 that university officials don't seem to be addressing student safety concerns with any urgency. According to CBS News, he has two twin boys in college. (Related: 'Massive social experiment': Berkeley moves forward with plan to replace police with unarmed civilians for traffic stops)

According to CBS News, safety concerns were heightened after a fatal shooting in October 2022, just steps away from a college dormitory on the south side of campus. Last month, the suspect reportedly fired a gun into the air, causing students to take cover and evacuate. One student told the media that he was the victim of two robberies, including an armed carjacking.

On-campus thefts of vehicles such as electric scooters, skateboards, e-bikes and golf carts jumped from 81 in 2021 to 307 in 2022. According to the data From the university police station. Aggravated assault and drug law violations also increased from 2021 to 2022, according to the data. Robberies in the Berkeley area increased from 801 in 2021 to 1,036 in 2022, and overall crime increased from 6,241 in 2021 to 7,201 in 2022. BPD data showed that.

“I feel very anxious, unsettled and worried about leaving my children here,” said one parent who said she had received numerous crime alerts about the area surrounding the dormitory. Said CBS News. “I feel like I have to get in my car and drive to campus to pick up my kids.”

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