Fri. Jan 21st, 2022

West Chester students have been raising concerns and are questioning their personal safety due to some of the violent crimes that have been occurring in the local area.

Students are especially distressed due to the shooting that occurred Halloween weekend and the murder of local area teen, Christian Santiago, which took place very early this semester.

On Nov. 1, at approximately 1:15 a.m., a 19-year-old male was shot while in Boxwood Alley, near the 500 block of South High Street.

Police have issued a warrant for the arrest of 30-year-old, James Maurice Cannavo of Honeybrook, who has recently been arrested.

Police are still investigating this incident, but it is assumed to be drug-related.

Cannavo will be charged with multiple counts including reckless endangerment of another person, simple and aggravated assault, and possession with intent to deliver cocaine and drug paraphernalia.

The individual, who has not yet been identified, was taken to Paoli Memorial Hospital in critical but stable condition.

Recently there has been a focus on shootings that are occurring on college campuses, which has definitely contributed to the anxiety students are experiencing in regards to their safety on their own college campuses.

Public Safety is proactively combating crimes such as these by educating individuals on how to respond to an active shooter.

Chief Bicking advises, “Take ownership of your personal safety; make a safety plan for yourself.”

He also suggests limiting the amount of intoxicants, so you don’t reach a dangerous level of vulnerability.

Bicking mentioned that officers are making more of a visible presence, especially at night and on the weekends.

The university offers many presentations and information sessions on personal safety.

Bicking welcomes employees and students to the Brown Bag Lunch in Sykes Student Union at the end of this month.

Public Safety’s Brown Bag Lunch allows discussion and informs its guests how to respond to not only active shooters, but an array of campus emergencies.

For further information, Public Safety’s website has videos and links for crisis response and resources to help to keep you safe.

Annie Margle is a third-year student majoring in communications studies with a minor in Spanish. She can be reached at AM802063@wcupa.edu.

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