USC gets more police officers after violent crimes

Letter from USC President Dr. Pastides to faculty and students about increased security on campus.

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WACH, AP) -- SLED has now released a sketch of the man involved in a reported rape and robbery on the USC campus early Tuesday.

That incident and other robberies on the campus have prompted the school to add six new officers to the university's police force.

University of South Carolina President Harris Pastides sent a letter to students and faculty Wednesday informing them of the increased security.

Pastides said in his letter that there are more officer hires to come.

Pastides says he also is talking to Columbia Police to step-up collaboration between university and city officers.

The university president says he is outraged any time someone is harmed on campus. A woman walking on campus reported being raped at 1 a.m. Tuesday. Last week, two armed robberies were reported where the suspects sought out victims walking on campus streets.

Sophmore Hailey Carroll said the incidents are affecting her in more ways than one.

"It has not only made me think twice about going out, it has made me think twice about living on campus," Carroll said. "I was going to live here next year, but I don't think I am now."

University Spokesman Wes Hicks said the victim did not call campus police until Tuesday afternoon. He said the information released had to be correct before sending it out. Hicks added that there are several resources to keep students safe.

"We have a couple hundred call boxes around campus," Hickman said. "We also offer shuttle service. Student government offers a taxi service on weekends. The Carolina Alert System is one way we communicate."

Hicks said students can help by taking a vehicle as much as possible, walking with groups in well lit areas, and talking on cellphones.

All steps to help students avoid similar incidents.