Sexual assault investigator named

In light of recent crime on campus, UNA police have appointed Officer Shequanda Jenkins as the department’s Sexual Assault Investigator.

Chief Bob Pastula said the position’s purpose is to ensure that sexual assault crimes are handled appropriately in the event of another occurrence.

“The position is for someone that knows how to do the investigation and what is required,” Pastula said. “Students will have the benefit of having someone on campus who not only knows how to do the procedures correctly but also how to handle them correctly as far as the compassion, care and understanding that has to go in to an investigation like this.”

Jenkins is already involved with Rape Response, having worked with them on campus for several years, he said.

Her familiarity with Rape Response and her experience teaching Rape Aggression Defense Training makes her the ideal person to serve in this role, Pastula said.

“I’ve had countless hours of sexual assault training, domestic violence training and processing of sexual assaults,” Jenkins said.

In the event of a sexual assault crime, Jenkins would be the first on the scene after the initial officer, officials said.

“There’s a lot of different things that we do for the investigation,” she said. “Rape Response typically handles the counseling side, and they do great work.”

Although the new position will work to respond once crimes have been committed, UNA police are encouraging safety measures to prevent future attacks. Pastula recommends that students should use the buddy system at night.

“Always travel in pairs,” Pastula said. “Students need to take advantage of our SNAP team and always be aware of their surroundings.”

Both officers said they have observed students walking late at night and encourage SNAP’s use at those times, as well as over the weekend. Pastula said he also wants to offer the Rape Aggression Defense class more regularly.

“We want to offer them once a month if we have enough people,” Pastula said. “Nobody has really taken advantage of them up to this point. Hopefully students will see an advantage to taking this course now.”

Jenkins said the class is currently for women only. The focus is to offer valuable tools for self-defense in a number of situations.

“It’s a good way to build your confidence and be able to protect yourself in the event of an attack,” Jenkins said. “It usually lasts from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and has a lot of hands-on training. We usually do them on Saturdays, but I’m open to doing them at any other time.”

For more information about campus police or Rape Aggression Defense training, visit Jenkins can also be reached about her new position and the training course through email, also available on the website.