Froggie Five-O: crime prevention program, not taxi service

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    Froggie Five-O does not lack in number of users, but some students misunderstand its purpose, TCU Crime Prevention Officer Pam Christian said.

    “If you’re nervous about going from point A to point B, by all means give us a call, and that’s what it’s there for, but it’s not a taxi service,” Christian said.

    Christian said she has no problem with students using it if they drink too much, if they feel lazy, or if they don’t want to walk. She does, however, discourage the use of Froggie for groups of three to five people.

    When groups of that size have asked for a ride, Christian told her student drivers to encourage them to walk in a group. That way the carts can be available to patrol campus as well as pick up girls that are traveling alone, which was its original purpose.

    Christian said the reason that Froggie Five-O began is because of about five brutal sexual assaults that occurred. Christian said they were so brutal in nature that it caused concerns for females walking by themselves.

    Froggie Five-O began with a few golf carts equipped with radios, which were originally tuned to the police radio channel. If anything suspicious was seen, the drivers could call directly to the station, Christian said.

    Since then, it has grown. Christian said the number of users can range anywhere from 13,000 to 18,000 students for the fall semester. Spring semester numbers decrease by a few thousand due to the warmer temperatures, Christian said.

    Christian said the TCU Police Department started an evening shuttle service as well because there isn’t a budget for more nightly Froggy Five-O carts.

    Froggie’s intent is to make students feel safer about traveling alone. Christian said she chooses male student drivers who have good character and can be trusted.

    There is an interview process and a background check before drivers are selected, Christian said.

    Esther Chitsinde, a senior environmental science major, said Froggie Five-O makes her feel safer.

    “I call it when I’m thinking about walking alone and dreading the walk alone. There’s a sense of comfort in the fact that I’m calling TCU police, and they know who is picking me up and where they are taking me,” Chitsinde said.

    Katie Herr, a junior strategic communications major, said Froggie makes her feel safer when she uses it, but that she doesn’t use it very much.

    This year, male students are also allowed to call in and ask for a ride. Christian, again, discourages large groups of males to ask for a ride.

    “They should only call if it’s a single guy walking by himself. Only if a guy is nervous,” she said.

    Tim Crespy, a sophomore business major, said he would never call Froggie.

    “I feel like if a guy calls Froggie then it takes away from service for ladies,” he said.