COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Working together, police officers with the city of Columbus and the Ohio State University are combining their forces to prevent crime off campus. The joint patrol program will feature three university officers teamed up with three to five CPD officers.

“We were talking about it when we were walking around today, like we just kind of always kept seeing them patrolling the area every now and then, which was really nice,” said Rachel Villalobos, a freshman at the Ohio State University.

The officers will patrol high-traffic areas off campus, working to keep students safe through community engagement and crime prevention devices.

“The most important thing is we’re getting community engagement, community interaction,” said Deputy Chief Eric Whiteside, with the Ohio State University Police Department.

Deputy Chief Whiteside says they’re working to increase their presence around the University District and at Ohio State football games. He says by working alongside Columbus police, officers with the university can expand their outreach and get students the support they need.

“They’re university officials, they bring university officials to bear on the situation,” said Whiteside. “So, it’s a direct link to those resources and the service they provide.”

The joint patrol will work overnight four days a week, and the position is a full-time role for officers involved.