Recent statistics show that Boulder is ranked No. 63 safest city out of 371 cities based on the 2005 FBI crime statistics from The Morgan Quinto Press, a private researching company. The smaller the number, the safer the city.
“I have always thought Boulder is a pretty darn safe place. It’s not like you are going to a big city. You don’t have that stuff in Boulder. Boulder has always been a pretty safe place and people appreciate that,” said Brad Wiesley, from the CU Police Department.
The CUPD works with the Boulder Police Department to make the Boulder community safer. Officers make themselves available to students to talk about crime and crime prevention, said Wiesley.
“We try to be as visible as we can be,” Wiesley said. “When people see police cars, they are less likely to do something bad.”
There are around 60 blue lights on campus. There are about three blue lights on the Boulder Creek path because part of it is owned by CU. People use blue lights when they are in danger, but they can also be used if someone is injured and can’t make it to a place of refuge, said Wiseley.
Wiesley also added that the CUPD has installed more blue lights throughout the years, and every year they add more phones to the campus. The department is also working on improving lighting so people feel more comfortable walking around campus at night.
But there are concerns about the CU police response to the blue lights.
“Stupid kids pull it every night, and the cops never came,” said Rachel Griffin, a senior psychology major.
On the other hand, police have appeared after students jokingly push the button.
“My friend was drunk, and they came right away, and he ran so fast. He got away,” said Karim Elatov, a junior computer science major.
Night Ride also provides safety and an ease to travels late into the night.
“We work with (Night Ride) for an emergency backup,” Wiesley said. “If officers aren’t busy, we will help them get rides.”
However, safety varies from person to person.
“I think the concept of safety is relative, as different people have different experiences,” said Julie Brooks, public information officer for the Boulder Police Department. “What one person might perceive as being unsafe, another person with different experiences might not view it the same way.”
Gender also plays a role in feeling safe. Elatov is a male student and said it’s different for him compared to girls.
“I never feel unsafe (walking around campus), but I feel unsafe when there are other drunk students,” Elatov said. “The city is fine. Sometimes parties go a little wild, but when I’m at a party, I’m never worried.”
Griffin said that Boulder police do not have their priorities straight.
“Boulder cops are worthless,” Griffin said. “They are more concerned about busting parties than break-ins. They let a murder go unsolved for 10 years. My friend’s dad hired a body guard to sit on their porch 24-hours-a-day because their house got broken into three times.”
As for traffic safety, Boulder is known for being a pedestrian-friendly city, but sometimes a car assumes it has the right-of-way, scaring or even hitting a pedestrian.
“I guess my biggest safety concern is getting hit by a car while biking,” said Ian Rees, a freshman electrical and computer engineering major.
Boulder ranked safer than Greeley, Fort Collins and Denver. Greeley ranked No. 189, and Fort Collins ranked No. 139. At a much lower ranking, the Denver-metro area was ranked No. 303 out of 371 cities in the nation.
Greeley had higher property crimes and violent crimes than Fort Collins, but Fort Collins had 118 rapes. In Greeley there were 48 rapes in 2005, according to FBI statistics.
“I feel safe, but I am a guy. RAMRide is a program you call and they can come pick you up, no questions asked. I also know if you’re a girl and you are alone, they will go out of their way to come pick you up. I think there is a safe walk program as well,” said Ian Clark, a sophomore restaurant and resort management major at Colorado State University.
Programs similar to the ones at CU are striving to make the college campus a less threatening place to be when it gets dark.
“For the most part I feel safe. No one ever pushes (our safety lights) because you will get fined. Mostly I walk in the lit areas,” said Ashley Lanham, a sophomore elementary education major at the University of Northern Colorado.