TAMPA, Fla. (FOX 13) - The latest study by home security website, Alarms.org, is setting off alarm bells for some USF students.
"Sometimes I'll go to the gym later at night and seeing that now makes me not want to go out or come to campus during the nighttime," said USF freshman Nya Smith.
The study ranked USF's campus as one of the least safe universities throughout the state of Florida. The college even came in at number 382 out of 490 schools when ranked nationally.
Some USF students are in shock.
"Definitely surprised, being my fourth year here, I haven't had any problems," said Jeffery Thurgood, a senior at USF.
Students stated that the area surrounding the USF campus sharply contrasts the actual campus itself.
"Based on maybe off campus, I can see that's probably where the evidence and claims are coming from because outside of USF you do have a few rough areas," said Jaleel Myers, a junior student.
The report stated that the ranking is based on several factors including data from law enforcement, crime statistics, and police adequacy. However, USF's police chief said this category isn't adequately defined.
"There was a piece called 'police adequacy' which wasn't really defined, so it left some wonder in our minds as to what that entailed and was the related to response, staffing, crime prevention, all of the above- there was no way for us to define that so the validity of the report was kind of hampered at that point," said Chief Chris Daniel with the USF Police Department.
USF's student newspaper, The Oracle, raised the issue of campus safety back in February. According to an article headlined "USF isn't keeping students safe," there were 10 auto burglaries on the Tampa campus within the first two months of 2019. Last year, there were only three in the same time span. The article cited reports of a campus stalker and numerous car break-ins as a cause for concern.
However, Chief Daniel said the university's crime numbers are actually going down.
"We have dropped across the board in both violent crimes and property crimes. In fact, between 2017 and 2018, the violent crimes dropped by 50%," said Daniel.
With police on campus and emergency call systems in place, some students said the report is hard to believe.
"Overall, I don't think USF is a dangerous school, but anything could happen anywhere," said senior Jason Edyo.
Which is why the chief said it's always best to stay on guard.
Chief Daniel told FOX 13 that his department is continually reviewing their policies and practices to ensure they are keeping students as safe as possible.
LINK: The full list of the “Safest Colleges in America” can be found by clicking here.