SAFECATS upping efforts

By Brian Hancock

It’s no secret that armed robberies have become somewhat prominent as of late.  With five robberies reported in the past two weeks, UK students are becoming more careful in regards to their campus traveling. One form of assistance many have been making use of is SAFECATS.

SAFECATS, which stands for ‘Safe And Free Escort for Campus Area Traveling Students,’ has had to step up its game in recent weeks.

The Flying Wildcats Booster Club runs the program. All 140 Air Force Cadets in ROTC make up the club. The program also helps to raise money for the booster club

“SAFECATS is a way for us cadets to help out and provide a safe service for students to get home,” Cadet Matthew Shieh said.

The program operates from 8:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., Sunday through Thursday.  Normally, there is one person on dispatch who answers phones, and two escorts who move around campus walking people home from various buildings.

“A lot of times we get three to four calls a night,” Cadet Andrew Ennsor said. “Last night [September 22] we had 22 calls.”

Students do not feel as safe as once before. Consequently, Safe Cats has increased its personnel.

“We’ve got six escorts working tonight,” Shieh said.

Shieh said they are also working on getting a second golf cart.  SAFECATS currently has one golf cart in use.

“We’ve recently been advertised as a bus service, which is incorrect” Shieh said. “We don’t have a bus, we have a golf cart.”

Members of the Flying Wildcats Booster Club normally work once or twice a month.  That number will likely go up, however, as the demand continues to increase.

“I’ve never seen it this busy before,” Ennsor said.

In the coming weeks, SAFECATS will continue to increase personnel in accordance with demand. The program can be reached at 257-SAFE.