COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — A new security patrol will be visible in the university district on foot, bikes, and a Buckeye Block Watch vehicle, the Ohio State University president announced this week.

Buckeye Block Watch members will patrol the off-campus community and report suspicious activity, as well as give out resources and information, the university said in an announcement which went on to state: “They will act as eyes and ears for safety concerns.”

Patrols will be on foot, on bikes and in a Buckeye Block Watch vehicle. They will be highly visible in the community and will be seeking to speak with students and community members.

Members are not part of campus police, or Columbus Division of Police, or even the security patrols OSU has in place, the announcement said.

Buckeye Block Watch members are given extensive training in how to deal with difficult situations and learn best practices for public engagement, including mental health responses, first aid and CPR. 

Training also includes information specific to the University District, including most traveled routes and popular locations in the neighborhood. They will be responsible for recording streetlight outages and other environmental concerns, too. 

“We are deploying every tool at our disposal to enhance safety both on and off campus,” said President Kristina M. Johnson in the announcement. “Buckeye Block Watch is the latest in a wide range of proactive security measures, and one that will engage members of the community to help bolster more traditional approaches that are helping to protect Ohio State students, faculty and staff, as well as long-term neighborhood residents.”

Buckeye Block Watch partners with Community Crime Patrol, and adds a partnership with the Block by Block organization. Ohio State will provide patrols in the neighborhood on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. Additional coverage will be added on home football game days, the announcement concluded.