Tarleton ranks as the Safest College in Texas


The JTAC Brittainie Cason

The flags in front of Tarleton State University located off of West Washington Street.

For some time now, Tarleton has been known to be a place where anyone is welcomed to be a part of the family. This newfound family is one that offers support for those who wish to excel in their ambitions. For many on the path to joining this family, the question of safety may or may not cross their mind. For those who question the safety of their new home, there is reassurance to be found as Tarleton State has been named the safest campus in the State of Texas.

A study conducted by yourlocalsecurity.com looked into forty one college campuses that host a minimum of five thousand students and offer two to four year degree programs. The website yourlocalsecurity.com is an authorized online retail affiliate of ADT Home Security. This report is one of many that Your Home Security has conducted as their aim to provide the needed information to create a safer home community as part of their vested interest in ensuring every person is safe in their community.

Per their methodology, Your Local Security looked at four key factors when analyzing 41 schools in Texas. These factors included Hate Crimes per enrolled student, Violence Against Women per enrolled females, Property Crime per population and Violent Crime per population. As mentioned in their report, part of this methodology included utilizing statistics and reports from the U.S. Department of Education’s Campus Safety and Security as well as the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report.

The final results found Tarleton State University as the safest campus in the State of Texas.

Matt Welch, Chief of Police for Tarleton Police Department is happy to receive the news. “We’re excited and humbled” commented Welch, “It’s a team effort…It was all of the officers and support staff that I want to give credit to.” Welch also wanted to express his gratitude and pass credit to the Stephenville PD and Erath County Sherriff’s Office, whom both he and his staff have fostered a good relationship with. “There’s not an overabundance of police presence in Erath County and so we help them and they help us.”

While it may be easy to assume that being able to successfully drop down the hammer of justice is what gave Tarleton such recognition, there is more to Tarleton PD than just handing out parking tickets. “In the case of Violence Against Women, we offer the Rape Aggression Defense training for women.” The R.A.D. course is offered to all women in the community and is taught by the female officers within Tarleton

Another service Tarleton PD provides is the police escorts and campus shuttles. Chief Welch also mentions that the shuttles can be called for through the Control Center. Students can call the Control Center by the phone number on the back of their Texan Card.

Tarleton PD also provide small items for added security. These items include a plastic cover for laptop cameras, whistles and small cards capable of testing drinks for common spike drugs.

It’s clear that the officers within Tarleton PD have put a lot of effort into ensuring that students are able to protect themselves and feel safe while on campus. However, there is more to the men and women of Tarleton PD. These officers are full-time peace officers with prior experience working in law enforcement, a number of them previously serving within the Fort Worth PD. With this in mind, these local heroes are trained and prepared to take to the front lines to defend and protect the Tarleton Family.

“(Tarleton is) kind of on an island,” Chief Welch explained, “If you don’t have a lot of bodies, you need a lot more firepower to handle (a potential threat.” One tool in Tarleton PD’s arsenal is Tarleton’s Code Purple. The university’s state-of-the-art emergency notification system is the quickest way for students, faculty and staff to receive timely alerts regarding any threats or situations that are actively occurring on the Tarleton campus. All members of the Tarleton Family are encouraged to visit the Tarleton Code Purple website for more details.

Regardless of the size of the threat, Chief Welch said with confidence that he and his colleagues have succeeded in ensuring everyone’s safety on the Tarleton campus. According to Welch, this success is not without the support and cooperation of the Tarleton Family. “We are here to keep (students) safe but it requires effort on our part as well as theirs,” said Welch, “Your safety has to be intentional. The less vulnerable you make yourself the safer you’re going to be.”

For an incoming member of the family such as Samantha Sanchez, the idea of the Tarleton campus being the safest has been something she has been aware of since she first arrived. “Since arriving to Tarleton, I’ve honestly felt safe” said Sanchez, “The campus is very well lit at night (and) I’m not afraid to walk around campus at night.”

Sanchez also made mention of the shuttle service being lifesaver for her in her time of need. “I once parked all the way at the baseball fields at night due to my dorm not having enough parking” said Sanchez. She said that she felt too scared to walk in the dark to her residence hall. “…but I had remembered about the shuttle service and called right away.

After that I really realized that Tarleton genuinely cares about its student’s safety.”