Campus Crime


Matthew Carter

Sgt. Charles Cassels states the most common campus crime is dating violence. In Aug. 2022, at least four of the crimes that took place that month were due to dating violence.

At Northwestern State University of Louisiana, the University Police department takes students’ safety very seriously.

According to a poll from The Current Sauce, 78 percent of students said they feel safe on campus, while 22 percent do not. This means over half the student population trusts NSUPD and knows that their safety lies in their hands.

To stay updated with every call-in crime that takes place on campus, students can locate the Daily Crime Log on the on-campus NSUPD website. By doing this, students can be aware of what is going on around them and know what to look for.

Sgt. Charles Cassels states the most common campus crime is dating violence. In Aug. 2022, at least four of the crimes that took place that month were due to dating violence.

“If the crime log says ‘cyberstalking,’ it usually means people that were or are romantically involved,” Cassels said.

NSUPD implements rules and procedures just as Natchitoches Police can.

“People view campus police as maybe as security guards, when in fact we have all the arrest power as anyone in the state of Louisiana and I have been into vehicle pursuits, which I did not expect, you know, on a university,” Cassels said.

Cassels offers advice that he would like all students to follow.

“Don’t walk by yourself at night, especially at night. There are a lot of ill-lit areas on campus. Do not walk by yourself. Also, don’t drink and drive. There’s a lot of that here,” Cassels said.

Captain Wesley Harrell has been working in college police forces for 12 years and has made it this far by consistently surrounding himself with a good crowd of friends and family. Harrell advises college students to do the same.

One of the most common cases Harrell has worked with is telephone harassment. The Louisiana Right of Statute for telephone harassment states this as, “Use [of] any telecommunications device to send any text message or other message to another person directly, anonymously or otherwise, and therein use obscene, profane, vulgar, lewd, or lascivious language, or make any suggestion or proposal of an obscene nature or threaten any illegal or immoral act with the intent to coerce, intimidate, or harass any person.”

Harrell recommends that students become familiar with available campus resources such as Counseling Services, Title IX and Student Services.

“We have a good relationship with all the different departments on campus. We meet quite often, so we’re trying to stay on the same page and try to, you know, assist the students as much as possible,” Harrell said.

Harrell gives words of wisdom to all students on campus.

“Be aware of your surroundings and if you see something, say something,” Harell said.

Harell mentioned many times, students should always come forward if they know something. NSUPD is constantly in search of feedback from the students and they can help solve cases with the students doing so.

A few tips to stay safe on campus include locking doors and windows to rooms, securing vehicles when they are exited, not leaving personal belongings out in the open and trying not to walk alone at night.

For more information contact Campus Police through their website or call their office at 318-357-5431.