In general, safety and security are not major concerns for most students, though the issue’s visibility has been steadily increasing in recent years. Off-campus muggings are becoming more common, as are burglaries of University-owned townhouses. As the Department of Public Safety is fond of reminding students, however, most of these incidents are wholly avoidable (Georgetown students have a particular fondness for walking home on deserted streets late at night and for, incredibly, leaving their front doors unlocked 24 hours a day). For the fortunate majority, therefore, security is only a peripheral concern at Georgetown. The most noticeable manifestation of the crime on campus is the increasing exasperation in emails from the campus police, who are particularly beguiled by the student body’s surprise at the fact that common criminals have figured out how to negotiate unlocked door knobs.
The Department of Public Safety is, on occasion, responsive and effective, but for the most part, it seems that DOPS is more interested in making off with the keg dregs from a busted party than in patrolling the streets. The important thing to remember, then, is that Georgetown, quiet and well-painted as it is, is located in one of the largest cities in the country. Cities, as a general rule, come equipped with a certain number of unsavory persons, and so the scattered assaults and robberies that occur on and off campus should not dissuade anybody from coming to the Hilltop. A few simple precautions (such as not being drunk and alone in dark alleys at 3 a.m.) can make the Georgetown/D.C. environment as safe as that of any city campus in America.