Police officer assigned to work out of dorms

Officer Emily Ross poses for a picture, Ross will now be stationed in Potomac Heights to be more accessible to students (submitted).

Students now have a police officer working out of a dorm to alleviate concerns of George Mason University residents.

Officer Emily Ross of the Mason Police Department started the assignment on Sept. 13 as the first Mason housing liaison officer. Her office is located in room F204 in the Potomac Heights dorm.

“The mission of this program is to improve the security and safety of the resident students,” Ross said.

Ross said she will follow up on tips about drugs and alcohol to improve enforcement in the dorms but will also provide alcohol education and serve as a resource for students who need advice.

Ross said she can address any issues from roommate troubles to problems with boyfriends or girlfriends to fears that a friend might be contemplating suicide.

“Come to me if you have a concern ... and talk about it, just to get some advice,” Ross said. “I’m there to assist you with any issues that you have and if it is not my issue to handle I will refer you to whomever you need to be referred to. I’m a source of information, if nothing else.”

Another issue Ross hopes to address is sexual assault.

She said she knows it is a crime that is underreported and wants to reach out to victims who are not sure what to do.

“I understand that it is a very difficult thing to report,” Ross said. “They might be afraid to go to a police officer, but I want to let them know that I will make it [the] most comfortable environment that I can, to come make such a report when they are ready to come forward.”

“If they don’t want to make an official record they can still come and talk to me,” she said.

She added that she would give them information about their options. However, she is required to take action on any criminal offense. If a third party wants to report an assault on a friend, Ross said she would advise them.

Besides keeping in touch with the issues that concern residents, Ross said her additional duties as housing liaison will allow her to have an overview of all incidents occurring in the dorms. Having that information will enable her to provide continuity in the Mason Police Department by administering weekly patrol briefings to other officers concerning all incidents in the student housing areas.

Ross said she will work days on Mondays and Tuesdays and evenings on Thursdays and Fridays. However, she plans on spending more time interacting with students in dorms than in her office. “I hope it will give students a better sense of security,” Ross said.

Your rating: None Average: 3.6 (5 votes)
Student Media Group: