I’m writing in response to the news article about our annual safety whistle presentation which was printed in the Wednesday, Oct. 1 Optimist edition.
I can appreciate fair and unbiased coverage, even when the “fairness” may reflect in a negative way upon me or my department.
What I don’t appreciate is an article that seems to go out of its way to underscore a negative view, opinion or stance and not give equal print to a corresponding positive view, opinion or stance on the same issue.
What I mean by this is that the Oct. 1 story seemed to bring up the cost of the program immediately, with a sub-headline of “cost versus benefit.” The article then follows up with cost related issues and reinforces the negative stance with two to three quotes from students who had less than positive opinions of the program.
I agree that everyone is entitled to their opinion but was troubled by the absence of any effort by the writer to locate an equal number of students who held positive views of the program.
Judging from many comments I hear across campus, most ACU females are very appreciative of the gesture.
I was upfront with the reporters about what I realized the program to be and also what I knew it not to be. Certainly, the whistles are not presented with any illusions of grandeur as being “the ultimate crime fighting tool” in the arsenal of ACU students.
Instead, the point of the safety program is to give new ACU females a brief glimpse into the vulnerability that we all have as we walk, jog and live on campus.
A quick safety presentation making one aware of ways to better prepare for an assault and better yet, ways to avoid an incident in the first place, is good.
The same presentation followed by a token gift of a $1.25 whistle to the same attendees is just our way of giving them something to reinforce the lessons.
Maybe it will, as the article quoted one person as saying, “be buried in a backpack and difficult to retrieve,” maybe it will find a permanent home on a dorm room dresser, or maybe it is carried by a female student out at 11 p.m. jogging alone.
Either way, it has served as a way for me to introduce new ACU females to their potential vulnerability and to the care, concern and service provided to them by the ACU Police Department.
Programs such as the whistle program, date rape awareness, and many others are worth the trouble whether some think they are silly or not.
Preventing just one person from becoming a victim of a crime, particularly an assaultive sex crime, cannot be weighed in dollars, cents or negative opinion.
Knowing that programs can actually make a difference here makes it even better. This philosophy won’t change just because of a few negative quotes or articles.
chief of ACU police