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Despite the advent of a Spectaguard bike patrol, fewer guards raise concerns about campus safety. Now, Spectaguard officers will join the ranks of Penn Police and University City District safety ambassadors who use bicycles to look out for crime and increase residents' feelings of safety. But the strategy will only be effective if the simultaneous cuts in Spectaguard's walking force do not serve to make the campus and community less safe. Students and other community residents have not only grown accustomed to seeking Spectaguards in the areas where they live, but the security officers' very presence is viewed by many as a sign of safety. Walking around campus in the middle of the night, it is not uncommon to see at least one Spectaguard on patrol. And that's the way it should be. Crime has, in general, seen a consistent marked decrease since the fall 1996 crime wave. It would be a shame if cutbacks now made criminals feel welcome in the area around campus. We should not have to wait for another string of robberies in order to have the proper number of Spectaguards. Hopefully, the new Spectaguard bike patrol will fill the void by allowing guards to be more mobile and cover a greater amount of space in less time. But if that is not the case, we encourage the Division of Public Safety to bring back additional guards.

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