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Pima Community College first day of class: comparing crime statistics to U of A

Posted at 7:15 PM, Aug 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-24 22:15:45-04

Wednesday was the first day of classes at Pima Community College for it's nearly 45,000 students.

Compared to the University of Arizona, it has far less crime. From reports with data from 2012-2014, PCC had 3 reported forcible sexual offenses, 3 aggravated assaults, and 8 burglaries. The University of Arizona had 41 burglaries, 12 aggravated assaults, and 27 rapes -- in 2014 alone.

Many students and faculty at PCC's West Campus seem to agree that it is a very safe place to go to school.

"There are some places where you go, and you go, I better make sure I'm safe, I better look over my shoulder," PCC student Aaron Cohen said. "This is just not one of those places."

Another student -- Adrienne Thompson -- explained she has taken night classes before and never felt unsafe about walking across the large parking lots in the dark to her car.

"The parking lots are all very well lit. And, there are multiple other students that take night classes also,
 Thompson said. "So you never feel alone either."

Vice President of Student Affairs Ann Parker explained the college has an alert system that will send a text message to students if there is a dangerous situation or person on campus. In her six years at PCC, she estimates only getting one or two alerts.

"I've been here for six years, and I think that I've gotten two," she said. "And that system works great because it lets all of us know what's going on at all of the different campuses."

Thompson explained she thinks the system works very well.

"Pima is really good about sending you notifications if there is anyone that is a threat to anyone," she said.

PCC Police Department Commander David Gittings ultimately is proud of the way the force patrols campuses. He explained they have a strong relationship with the students, and are a strong presence on campus. Officers will escort students to their cars if they ever feel the need for it.

"Pima College is an extremely safe place for your children and your family to come and study and learn," Commander Gittings said.