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La Salle University Students Question College's Safety Policies As Off-Campus Crime Rises

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Crime concerns continue for La Salle University students who live off campus. Authorities are investigating a series of robberies and attempted robberies near the North Philadelphia campus.

There are still no arrests in a home invasion from last weekend. It happened at a home on the 2100 block of West Chew Avenue.

Police say two men forced their way into an off-campus party. The men got away with two cellphones.

"I can't imagine being there," said student Rayna Patel.

A text alert went out to students alerting them about the home invasion, but an email alert was not complete.

"It was just not helpful at all, nobody knew where it was," another student said.

La Salle University Students Want Better Security As Crime Increases Near Campus

University leaders told Eyewitness News there was a technical glitch in the email and that is why it lacked some vital information.

"I don't feel safe," said Patel, "but I live on south campus so I feel safer. But something needs to be done about it."

Since mid-January, there's been at least four robberies or attempted robberies off campus – on the 5700 block of North Lambert Street, the 2000 block of Chew Avenue and the 5700 block of North 20th Street.

The university told Eyewitness News that it installed more than 100 new cameras and it has an alert system. Now, university leaders are responding with a new public safety action plan.

(Credit: CBS3)

One idea is to add a second Philadelphia police officer on patrol between 5 p.m. and 1 a.m. And at no costs to students, the university intends to purchase motion sensor lights for off-campus homes and alert whistles for those who want them.

"The whistles are definitely a good idea because there are cops stationed all over," said freshman Nick Donovan, who lives off campus, "but it's hard to see the crimes that happen. We definitely travel in groups, don't walk alone at night."

The university also added that "the safety of our students, staff and faculty remains our top priority."

Starting next year, any student who wants to live off campus will be required to take a safety orientation class.

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