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Coastal Carolina University launches Chauncey Patrol

February 19, 2010

In a continuing effort to make its campus safer, Coastal Carolina University has initiated a new transportation program called the Chauncey Patrol. The program provides students, faculty and staff with free golf cart rides to their vehicle or on-campus residence between the hours of 4 p.m. and 2 a.m. daily.

The University's Department of Public Safety (DPS) has hired 11 students who will work five-hour shifts during the evening, night and early morning to ensure safe transport for those who have to walk to their cars or dorm rooms. The Chauncey Patrol number is 843-349-2177.

"If a student is at the library studying late, or a faculty member is working late in his or her office and is parked over by the stadium or some other remote location, they can call the Chauncey Patrol to give them a ride," says Lt. Scott Suttles, coordinator of the program.

Chauncey is the nickname of the University's mascot, the Chanticleer, the feisty barnyard rooster from Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales."

Chauncey Patrol students wear bright yellow T-shirts and carry pubic safety radios. If a student driver is not available, a security officer will respond to the call.

"If someone is out by themselves at night, they are much more vulnerable than if they're with another person or two and moving rapidly," says Suttles. "Training for the students consisted mostly of telling them what not to do. We don't want them to engage [with aggressors]. We want them to be the eyes and ears of Coastal, to look for and report suspicious behavior."

Suttles compared the program to a community Neighborhood Watch where residents look out for one another. "It's our campus community neighborhood watch. As the campus grows, we need to be able to provide a way for people to maneuver around campus safely, to alleviate fears." The program has been in the planning stages since last November and in operation since Feb. 1.

Chauncey Patrol is currently limited to the University's main campus and does not operate across University Boulevard or U.S. 501.

Earlier in the semester, the University launched a Silent Witness program with a tip line (843-349-TIPS) where anyone can place an anonymous call to DPS report suspicious activity or a crime.

For more information on the program, call Suttles at 843-349-2518. .