Thursday, August 8, 2013

#2 times 2

 Amherst College (named after the town, not the General)

Amherst College is rated #2 for top liberal arts college in American behind arch rival Williams College.  And now they are rated #2 in the state for "safest school."

One logical reason is of course Amherst, the town, is pretty safe.  And the Amherst Police Department does a great job of keeping it that way.

Amherst College also has a fine professional police department made up of 7 full-time patrol officers, 3 sergeants, a deputy chief and highly regarded Chief, John Carter.

Back in December of 2011 Amherst Police had their hands full with a student party house on College Street just off Amherst College campus (none of them AC students) that had spiraled out of control, with a major fight that resulted in a stabbing.

UMass police were too busy on their campus to provide mutual aid.   But Amherst College police were a big help, arriving quickly on the scene to help control vehicular traffic and party goers cascading out of the house.

I emailed a brief thank you note to Amherst College President Biddy Martin and received this reply:

I am glad to hear that the Amherst College police were helpful to you on Saturday. Having worked closely with university police at Cornell and at UW-Madison, I count on campus police to be well-trained and highly competent. I agree. The assumption that campus police are "mall cops" is totally misplaced. Responsibility for thousands of young people and unique facilities requires that every campus have police or safety departments that can handle any kind of emergency, often in cooperation with colleagues off campus. It is a relief to know from you that our campus police have a good relationship with your department. 

Another contributing factor keeping Amherst College safe and sound is the full time protection provided by the Amherst Fire Department. Amherst College donates $90,000 annually to the town in lieu of taxes for ambulance/fire protection.

AFD responses in 2013 thus far by location
Graph courtesy of Amherst Firefighters Local 1764 

A scenic campus, well maintained buildings and a low student teacher ratio are all important factors in choosing a school. But it's hard to learn if you don't feel safe.


Anonymous said...

Amherst PD is a stellar group of guys. They do an incredible job of keeping the peace in town with an understaffed department. Even as demanding as their job is they all have a great attitude. Thanks Amherst PD for protecting us all.

Anonymous said...

Ask any Amherst college student, including my close cousin, who attends. The rules are far more relaxed, meaning that lack of reports creates a facade of safety.

The recent rape incident speaks to this as well.

Anonymous said...

Rated by what/who? There are many different commercial publications that create college ranking (and other ranking) lists as a way to sell magazines. Which one is this?

Larry Kelley said...

Follow the link in the 1st paragraph (this is the Internet after all).