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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Students Talk About Off-Campus Safety

USC Students talk to ATVN about how they feel after the DPS-involved shooting Wednesday morning.

The shooting near 30th Street and Figueroa is rare for the Department of Public Safety Officers.

DPS officers were involved in a shooting early Wednesday morning (Photo courtesy ATVN).
DPS officers were involved in a shooting early Wednesday morning (Photo courtesy ATVN).

"You probably have to go back at least 20 years since the last time a DPS Officer was involved in an officer-involved shooting," said Assistant DPS-Officer, John Thomas.

But Thomas says these types of crimes may happen more frequently now because of jail over crowding. 

"There are more people that have a tendency to commit crimes, out," said Thomas. "So those are factors that contribute to aberration crimes like these."

About a third of USC DPS officers do carry a firearm. In order to do so they must complete the same police training as the Los Angeles Police Department.

Although the crime happened shortly after midnight, students weren't notified until after 8:30 a.m. Wednesday morning. DPS says an immediate alert was not necessary.

"Because this was a resolved situation we knew who the suspect was and we had him in custody, for those reasons we did not warrant an alert," said Thomas.

But some students say they wished they had known about the incident earlier.

"I think we should be notified right away just so we wouldn't happen to be walking in the same area," said USC student Katherine Sharp.

DPS says students should be aware of their surroundings, walk in groups and notify DPS officers if they see anything suspicious. But they say even when students do those things crime can still happen.

But even with armed officers patrolling around campus, USC students have mixed feelings about safety in the area.

"I only hear about it, but I would never expect it or see it happen and it's scary," said Sharp. "It's scary to know that this happens around our school."

"I feel safe on campus," said USC student Megan Goldring.

One student's mother says she is concerned for her daughter's safety.

"USC's a great school, but when it's located in a place of high crime we worry," said USC parent Laura Garcia.

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