Two weeks after a USC graduate student was found beaten to death near the South Los Angeles campus, officials said they'll beef up security by the end of the month.
Additional security officers and so-called "security ambassadors" will patrol year-round the campus and areas where two deadly attacks left three students dead in two years, university officials said Friday.
The announcement of the added security comes after 24-year-old Xinran Ji was fatally beaten with a bat at 1:45 a.m. on July 24 in a botched robbery as he walked home off campus from a study group.
Ji was the third student killed near the university in two years.
Ying Wu and Ming Qu, both 23 and also Chinese graduate students, were fatally shot in a botched robbery as they sat in a car after leaving a library in the early morning hours of April 11, 2012.
The victims' parents filed a civil wrongful death lawsuit against USC, saying they had inadequate security, a lawsuit that was ultimately dismissed.
Arrests were made in both cases.
Ji’s parents blamed USC for not beefing up security after Wu and Qu's deaths and called on the Chinese government to issue a travel alert for citizens planning to attend the university.
USC officials said part of their security enhancements include extra patrols and a plan to help educate all incoming international students about the dangers around campus in both English and Mandarin.
The school also plans on creating an International Student Safety Advisory Group which would have an international student liaison officer assisting with neighborhood watch programs.
Other planned safety improvements included:
- An upgraded closed-circuit TV (CCTV) system that would be monitored 24 hours a day
- Reduced wait times for the campus’ free car escorts;
- An expedited planned implementation of a free-mobile app that would allow students and faculty to immediately contact and alert USC’s Department of Public Safety;
- The formation of an International Student Safety Advisory Group;
- Increased LAPD foot and bicycle patrols.
USC has added an additional 60 security cameras in the last two years, and currently operates more than 190 video license plate recognition cameras.
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Part of the increased monitoring was prompted by the 2012 attacks, according to USC Department of Public Safety Deputy Chief David Carlisle.
Security cameras were instrumental in identifying suspects in Ji's death, Carlisle said.
It’s unclear where the money to fund the new "extended" measures would come from and whether or not student tuitions would increase as a result of the increased security measures.