Off-campus apartments invest in more security features

Matthew Enfinger

Violent crimes in off-campus housing complexes have raised concern about security issues, and Campus Crossings has increased security to combat crime.

Off-campus apartments have been no stranger to violent crime in the past, such as the murder of Deniro Arness Smith at the Grove apartments. According to the Statesboro Police Department’s (SPD) online mapping and analysis service,, the area around the Grove Apartments has reported 18 violent crimes and Campus Crossing has reported 17 violent crimes in the past three months.

Whereas an on campus housing complex, Centennial Place, has only had 7 violent crimes reported over the past three months.

Georgia Southern University police chief Laura McCullough said that “it could be partly because we do have police officers walking through our residence halls everyday.”

Although on-campus buildings are their primary jurisdiction, McCullough said if requested, GSPD would assist in crime reports at off-campus apartments.

Off-campus housing is under the jurisdiction of the SPD.

“Our officers patrol these areas as much as possible in between calls for service,” Sergeant Jake Saxon of the SPD said in an email. “We have met with many of the managers of the local apartment complexes and discussed issues and services.”

McCullough believes that the answer for off-campus crime is for apartment complexes to invest in security features, such as cameras and increased outdoor lighting.

Since Campus Crossings invested in more security, the apartment complex has seen a reduction in crime, according to Ansley Simpson, Campus Crossings sales manager.

“We’ve been pulling in a lot of things since everything happened and we’ve actually seen crime go down significantly,” Simpson said.

Starting in April, Campus Crossings will install a perimeter fence and start on an electronic gate. The complex has also increased outside lighting and added video surveillance cameras.

“The Grove is a gated community. To gain access to the property, any visitor would need to be let in by someone else,” Mark Evans, head of the Grove public relations, said. “We are always reminding residents to escort their guests and to do their part to help us control access to property. We also have a courtesy officer who walks around the property, and our management and many employees live on site and are available to respond to any issues.”

McCullough advises students to look for safety features such as area lighting and peep holes on doors when looking at options for off-campus housing.

Students can also use the SPD’s online mapping and analysis service,

, to view how many crime reports have been made for a specific area.