Despite recent reports of sexual assaults on campus, Safewalk, Notre Dame’s student-employed escort service, has not seen an increase in business, according to Safewalk supervisor Cappy Gagnon.“We would always like students to use Safewalk more just because it’s a free service that we provide,” Gagnon said. “On the other hand, we’re pleased that the students have a high comfort level on the campus and don’t utilize us as much as we would like.”Gagnon said the service averages two to three escorts a night.During the academic year, Safewalk offers confidential escorts to and from anywhere on campus from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. Safewalk employees are in radio contact with Notre Dame Security Police (NDSP), carry photo identification cards and wear a vest with lettering illuminated at night.Dave Chapman, assistant director of NDSP, said four sexual offenses have been reported this academic year, one of which occurred in 2009. Last year, NDSP reported a total of two sexual offenses.Chapman encouraged students to take precautions, including walking with friends, calling Safewalk or reporting suspicious behavior.“We can’t be everywhere at all times so we have to depend on students here to be our ears and eyes and to help each other out,” Chapman said.Chapman said students should contact NDSP with any information.“One lead can change a whole case, and it may be something where someone thinks this isn’t going to do them any good, and it’s the best lead that we have, and it leads to the arrest of a person so we encourage people to call us for anything at all,” he said.Last year, Chapman said a Notre Dame student reported an individual’s “out-of-the-ordinary behavior.” Although the student doubted whether the information would be valuable, NDSP discovered that the individual had been trespassing following a ban from entering onto campus. The student’s tip led to the individual’s arrest, Chapman said.Students can report information anonymously and to further prevent crime, sign up for a Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) class, a self-defense program taught by NDSP officers.Chapman said RAD has become more popular, following campaigns by crime prevention officer Keri Kei Shibata.“Now we are running classes every couple months, and they’re full, and we have to turn people away, and so we run them as often as we can,” Chapman said.Overall, Chapman said students’ perceptions of safety on campus can interfere with taking safety precautions.“When nothing happens to you while you are here, you get that mentality that nothing can happen to you, and that’s the kind of mentality that we want to discourage,” Chapman said. “Yes it can happen to you, and we don’t want it to happen to you but here’s what we can do to try to prevent that from happening to you.”
Authorities in Florida say a woman was caught attempting to make a nail bomb with materials inside a Walmart.Emily Stallard, 37, was spotted by a security guard roaming the aisles of Walmart in Tampa Bay.After watching Stallard open unpaid items, including flammable materials, projectiles and matches, a security guard called the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office and notified an off-duty Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation officer who was inside the store.An arrest report cited by the station says the woman filled a mason jar with fuel, denatured alcohol and nails. She then attempted to light the bomb with a shoelace as a wick before the off-duty officer and security guard stopped her.Deputies arrived on the scene and arrested Stallard.“This woman had all the supplies she needed to cause mass destruction at her disposal,” Sheriff Chad Chronister said. “Had it not been for an alert off-duty law enforcement officer and a watchful security staff at Walmart, she may have followed through with her plans to cause an explosion inside the store.”Investigators said a child, her son, helped Stallard make the device.“The defendant encouraged the child to engage in an act that could have caused great bodily harm and induced the child to become delinquent,” the arrest report says.Stallard is facing multiple charges, including attempted arson, fire bombing, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, child abuse and battery on an officer.