Students, residents turn out to support Buckeye Block Watch launch
New neighborhood patrols underway in University District
A block party in the University District on Friday night helped launch a new effort to improve safety in the neighborhoods around The Ohio State University.
Students, neighbors and staff from the Office of Student Life enjoyed music, food and hot cider as they met members of Buckeye Block Watch. The group will patrol the off-campus community and offer resources and information while reporting suspicious activity. They are not sworn law enforcement officers and will not have arrest powers or carry firearms.
“They’re going to be the eyes and the ears. These folks are going to be foot patrol. They’re going to be on bikes, they’re going to be in a vehicle, and they’re going to be spending time in the neighborhood here adjacent to campus,” said TJ Logan, associate vice president for the residential experience, Office of Student Life. “They’re really keeping their eyes open, keeping their ears open, partnering with our students and engaging our students to make sure we’re doing everything we can to keep our students as safe as possible.”
Fourth-year social work major Kayla Klotz, who lives in the University District, said she appreciates the new safety resources deployed by the university.
“I think it’s awesome. My roommates and I have been kind of concerned with the stuff going on in the neighborhood,” she said. “There’s been some scary stuff happening, so to know that someone’s out there or multiple people are out here watching the neighborhood has been kind of comforting.”
Buckeye Block Watch patrols are separate and distinct from the Ohio State University Police Division, Columbus Division of Police, and the non-sworn security patrols Ohio State has in place using Campus Service Officers or private security firms.
Ohio State will provide patrols in the neighborhood on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. Additional coverage will be added on home football game days. The Buckeye Block Watch team is expected to be highly visible in the community and will be seeking to speak with students and community members.