West Liberty University’s Campus Police office has been designated a “Safe Place” location. As a “Safe Place” location the Campus Police office provides a haven for individuals in need of a safe place to receive help. Campus Police are located on the lower level of the newly renovated Shaw Hall, on the main campus in West Liberty, W.Va.

There are times when children and young adults experience difficult situations such as trouble with peers, being locked outside of the house, bullying, being in a dangerous situation while on a date, or feeling a risk in a threatening home environment, and need help.

“Safe Place is a worthwhile and wonderful program. Thank you to Sondra Jackson [local Safe Place Outreach Specialist] for giving us the opportunity to participate in the program. It’s important to be able to offer a safe location in a crisis situation for our students and the community,” said Lt. Thomas A. Hostutler of the WLU Campus Police.

Locally, any youth can walk into a business or Ohio Valley/East Ohio Regional Transportation Authority (OV/EORTA) bus displaying the black and yellow Safe Place sign and ask for help. Safe Place creates a network of “safe place locations” – youth friendly businesses, fire stations, libraries, and other appropriate public buildings that display the distinctive yellow and black Safe Place sign. Such locations have agreed to provide a temporary place for a child in crisis while waiting for a Youth Services System Inc. representative to arrive. All information provided by the youth is kept confidential. 

“I am so happy to have WLU Police Department join us as we strive to make a difference in the lives of youth in our communities. The WLU Social Work Club have partnered with us for two years, assisting with community outreach and youth presentations,” said Jackson.

In addition to the Campus Police office on the West Liberty University main campus, other Safe Place locations include, in the Wheeling area: the Ohio County Public Library, all OV/EORTA buses, Tim Horton’s restaurant, Dugger’s Market, all seven Wheeling Fire Department Stations, and Laughlin Memorial Chapel; in Marshall County/Moundsville area: Helsinki Shelter, Grand Vue Park, Moundsville-Marshall County Public Library, Moundsville Volunteer Fire Department, CASA for Children, Benwood-McMechen Housing Authority, and the Marshall County Starting Points Center.

Youth Services System Inc. operates the only Safe Place program in West Virginia. Safe Place services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For additional information contact Sondra Jackson, Safe Place Outreach Specialist, at (304) 218-2849, by fax at (304) 231-0919, or by email at [email protected]. The YSS office is located at 87 Fifteenth Street, Wheeling, W.Va. The National Safe Place website is http://nationalsafeplace.org.