Security options available for campus safety

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - As Mid-South college students enter their second week of classes, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is keeping a close watch on campus safety.

WMC Action News 5 Investigators have sought out new security options for anyone looking for an extra layer of protection.

As parents drop off their young adults, they're having very grown-up conversations.

"At night don't walk anywhere by yourself, always go in a group," said mother Cherlynn Hasel.

Hasel dropped her freshman daughter off at the University of Memphis on move-in day.

The TBI's Crime on Campus report released in March shows more than 6,100 offenses reported by Tennessee colleges and universities last school year.

Theft from a building was reported more often than any other offense, while assaults increased 21 percent from the year before.

With those numbers in mind, the WMC Action News 5 Investigators turned to safety and protection company SABRE.

"Keep your guard up, be engaged with what's happening around you," said SABRE CEO David Nance.

Nance said his company's research shows 65 percent of reported attacks on college campuses happen inside dorm rooms or apartments.

That's why his company created the Dorm Apartment Security Alarm Kit. The kit can outfit any single room with devices similar to those in a standard home security system.

"It's not a wake-up call until it actually happens to you," said U of M senior Whitney Woods.

Woods shares a common area in her apartment with roommates she has yet to meet. She was most interested in the security kit's Door Stop Alarm.

It may not stop an intruder, but the 120-decibel alarm that sounds when pressure is applied may deter someone.

The window sensor works the same way and can be heard up to 750 feet away.

"I would have never thought of something like this," Woods said.

Mobile alarms are another option. One doubles as a key ring. Pull the pin, and the alarm can be heard as far as six football fields away.

"It draws attention to you, the last thing an attacker wants to do is be identified or caught," Nance said.

The Sabre kit costs around $25, but security doesn't have to come at a cost.

Consider signing up for a free self-defense class, use the campus-offered safe rides instead of walking at night, walk in large groups because there is strength in numbers, and stay off your phone to limit distractions when walking to or from campus.

Copyright 2017 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.