Tarleton State University and the city of Stephenville recently earned a spot — No. 44 — on the Safewise 50 Safest College Towns in America list.
Every year, Safewise examines crime reports from college towns around the nation to determine which are the safest. Town population, violent crimes and property crimes per 1,000 people are considered as well as rankings from previous years.
“Most of Tarleton’s officers are seasoned veterans who know what to do in all types of calls from fire alarms to active threats,” said Tarleton Police Chief Matt Welch. “During the day it is the police department’s goal to be visible around campus so that students, faculty and staff can reach an officer at any time. At night our officers focus on keeping buildings secure and quickly responding to calls.”
The Tarleton and Stephenville police departments as well as the Erath County Sheriff’s Department meet weekly to share items of mutual concern as well as keep everyone on the same page. Tarleton PD also conducts Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) classes each semester and will do escorts any time a student asks.
Welch believes these efforts are a big reason Tarleton and Stephenville have landed on safest campus and town lists the past three years. In 2016 Tarleton ranked No. 18 on the 50 Safest Large Colleges and Universities in America. In 2017 it ranked No. 57 in the National Council for Home Safety and Security Top 100 Safest College Campuses in America.
“Tarleton is a safe campus with very few issues involving violent crimes,” Welch said. “Tarleton PD plans to continue correspondence with Stephenville PD and the sheriff’s department to keep it that way."