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According to a 2007 Campus Sexual Assault Study, more than 50 percent of college sexual assaults occur in August, September, October, or November. The survey also showed that women are mostly likely to be victimized early in their college tenure.

The “red zone” is shorthand for the time at the beginning of the school year when a disproportionate number of campus sexual assaults take place. The Department of Justice has identified the period between students’ arrival on campus in late August and Thanksgiving break as the stretch of time when a student is more likely to be assaulted than at any other point in her college career. During that time, the majority of assaults occur between midnight and 6am, on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

We pulled statistics to support the information listed above and developed a deployment strategy to proactively put our personnel in the right areas at the right times. The strategy included the following deployment information:

  • Increased presence in known areas of vulnerability on and near campus
  • Strict enforcement for any alcohol violations
  • Requirement for officers to do next day follow-up with anyone who had an alcohol incapacitation. The follow-up provided education to the community member, the citation (if one was going to be issued) and an initiative card (shown below)
  • Encouraged next day follow-up for any students who received Underage Drinking citations – next day follow up gives the community member an opportunity to better understand the consequences of their actions versus discussing these things when they’re still impaired
  • Mandatory social contacts with community members who appear to engaged in unwanted or illegal behaviors
  • Increased attendance at Coffee With a Cop and the Oshkosh Police Department shift briefings to increase collaboration and area awareness

We believe that this initiative was a huge success because we increased our presence, we interacted more with our community members, we built stronger relationships with other campus departments who were also participating in Red Zone Initiatives and we increased awareness for these issues in our community and with our peers. We will complete this initiative annually.