Stay Aware on the Streets of Wilkes-Barre

Carly Yamrus, Assistant Opinion Editor

The streets of Wilkes-Barre are not what anyone would call ‘ideal’. For those of you who are new to Wilkes University, or for those of you who just need a reminder, the streets of Wilkes-Barre need to be taken seriously, especially for the first few weeks of school.

Wilkes-Barre Police will be patrolling the streets looking for young, unaware people to make one wrong move.  They are too concerned with catching unruly college kids and should focus more on the city itself. We already have public safety watching our every move; we don’t need an additional authority breathing down our necks.

Be aware of gangs and muggers. There have been incidents in the past involving weapons, so it is best to be aware of the surrounding areas so you can avoid contact with any dangerous people. I have been stopped by law enforcement before, and instead of being stopped for something legitimate, I was stopped simply because I did not properly navigate the sidewalk.  Now I don’t expect them to be perfect, but the sidewalks in Wilkes-Barre are subpar.

This past weekend, I was stopped again by two police officers on foot. I was walking silently with two friends when they stopped us and asked where we were coming from. We told them and they continued to hassle us about underage drinking. I am appalled at this city’s methods of control.

You can never completely rule out the chance of getting stopped, but you can try and be as discreet as possible to avoid any encounters with the Wilkes-Barre Police. Simply be quiet. The less attention you can bring to yourself, the better.  As simple as it sounds, watch your step and walk in a straight line.

Ryan McKeown, a sophomore at Wilkes University, agreed that this is a real issue with students on and off campus. “Don’t walk in groups. Walk by yourself.” McKeown said. This seems to be a contradictory issue. If you walk in a large group, you are more likely to get stopped by authority, but if you walk alone you are vulnerable to attacks.

The police have every reason to assume that you are under the influence, and that is exactly what they are doing. If the opportunity presents itself, they will not hesitate to stop you.