A 3:00 a.m. walk across the quad, a late night stroll to Antonio’s for a slice of delectable pizza, or a post-midnight trip home from the library are just a few of the things I was able to do last year without worry of armed robbery, rape or who knows what else. 
Not that those things didn’t cross my mind, but they were somehow less of a threat. This past summer I was seemingly getting an e-mail every other week from the University stating there had been an attempted rape attack or, unfortunately, a successful one. As the school year has progressed, it seems as though the crime rate in Champaign is at an ultimate high — not that I have any hard statistics to back my claim. 
The most recent email sent out about the armed robbery on John Street left me feeling a little bit shaken. Maybe it’s because I’m going to be living very close to where the incident with the two armed men occurred or because now I’m only a few blocks away. Either way, I no longer feel safe walking alone — no matter what time of day. 
The police have in no way made their presence a welcoming one — especially since all of their focus seems to be at Kam’s, CO’s and all the other campus bars, writing underage drinking tickets. A lot of the time I’m wondering what would happen to the crime rate in CU if the police spent as much time patrolling dark streets as they do getting writer’s cramp from all of the tickets they’ve written at the bar.
It wasn’t until this past weekend that I noticed, and was pleased, having the cops patrol my neighborhood around the Healey street area. I was kicking back on Friday night at my brother’s apartment with some friends when there was a random knock on the door. This wasn’t unusual considering two apartment’s down is full of mutual friends, so naturally we all yelled “come in!” Then another knock followed and so finally one of us answered only to find a police officer at the door. He told us to shut our window and blinds in the front and lock the door and to not yell “come in” when someone knocks. After his few pieces of advice, he left and that was that.
On Saturday night, on my way home from the same apartment as Friday night, my boyfriend and I ran into two guys getting into a pretty intense physical fight right outside my apartment so we called the cops, unsure as to what the two might do next. Less than two minutes later, three squad cars rolled up and made sure everything was okay.
Despite my negative opinion of the police raiding local bars, these two instances made me believe, if only just for the weekend, that the police really do have hearts — and brains for that matter. Their attentiveness gave me some peace of mind, at least for a short while. I can only hope that they continue to pay close attention to street activity and try to prevent future robberies and rapes.

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