Fence built to reduce crime, police chief says

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    A new wrought iron fence being built by the TCU Physical Plant along Bellaire Drive is an attempt to protect students from car burglary, the TCU police chief said.Steve McGee, police chief, said the fence, which will be permanent, is being built in the Worth Hills area in response to several car break-ins that occurred last spring.

    “Any time we can contain an area and control access, we decrease crime,” McGee said.

    “Criminals don’t like to feel trapped,” he said.

    McGee said burglary of motor vehicles – a misdemeanor crime – is a major problem on campus, and it is becoming more widespread on college campuses.

    Harold Leeman, associate director of major projects at the Physical Plant, said the fence should deter crime.

    “It’s kind of hard to carry off a stereo while jumping a fence,” Leeman said.

    The wrought iron fence with brick columns should be completed within two to three weeks and will be a continuation of the fencing around the baseball and soccer fields, Leeman said. It also will be accompanied by trees and shrubbery.

    There was mixed reaction to the fence from the student body.

    Chari Perkins, a senior management major, said she thinks the fence is a good idea.

    Perkins, who has lived in Wiggins Hall for three years, said many of her friends have had their cars broken into, and she believes the fence will reduce break-ins.

    “It’s a really good safety measure,” Perkins said.

    Julie Smith, who lives in Beckham-Shelburne Hall, disagreed.

    “It makes me feel really fenced in,” said Smith, a sophomore early childhood education major.

    The fence will have a gate at the south exit to Bellaire Drive, and students will have to leave from Pine Drive and Kent Street, McGee said.

    There are no immediate plans for additional fencing, but McGee said he hopes to eventually put a fence up around all campus parking lots.