OUPD And APD Team Up To Prevent Sexual Assaults

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The Ohio University Police Department and Athens Police Department are teaming up to try to prevent sexual assault – but police say they can't solve the problem alone.

"It is something we have to work together to address," says Ohio University Police Chief Andrew Powers.

Powers says education, raising awareness of sexual assault and changing attitudes towards sexual assault victims are all elements that are required to prevent sexual assault.

"(It's) really about protecting each other and working together to end this problem," says Powers.

Powers says a number of community policing type of initiatives are in progress, but it takes community education efforts, not just policing.

He says most sexual assaults on campus are acquaintance rapes and usually happen in private spaces such as homes, apartments, dorms and bedrooms.

Powers says these types of rapes or sexual assaults are difficult for police to monitor in a traditional sense.

"That's why education is important and that's why it's important for people to look out for one another," says Powers.

Powers says the ongoing joint patrol with the Athens Police Department will continue.

They will continue focusing on areas where serious attacks happened in the spring, such as the Mill Street neighborhood.

Powers was interviewed on WOUB Televsion's Newswatch program last night.