BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — September is National Campus Safety Awareness Month and universities across the state are actively working to enhance safety measures on their campuses.

This comes on the heels of multiple incidents at Alabama colleges. Auburn University is currently investigating a series of assault cases and there was a shooting at Alabama A&M in August.

Acts of violent crime like this are why college campuses across the country are on high alert, especially here in Alabama.

Following two student deaths on campus within the last year, Jacksonville State University police said they are working to improve safety measures in addition to what they already have in place.

Chief Michael Barton said there is always a strong presence of lighting, surveillance cameras, and law enforcement on campus.

They also have an app for the campus community. Among other features it has a one call button that allows a panic alert to connect immediately with the dispatch center.

Following last year’s tragic death of Leah Tarvin who was struck by a car while crossing the street near campus, Chief Barton said they are currently making improvements to traffic safety measures like signage and crossings on Highway 21.

“At JSU we are known as the friendly campus of the south, but we also aspire to be the safest campus in the south,” said Chief Barton. “And so, that situational awareness that we talked about, the various safety and law enforcement measures that we have in place, all those things work together to promote safety and security for the campus community.”

Chief Barton also addressed the recent death of a student who was found dead in a campus apartment.

He says there is no threat to the public but when tragedies like this happen they work to be transparent and update the campus community through their emergency alert system.

UAB’s Police Chief Daryl Green tells me they have over 6,000 security cameras and 450 emergency telephones.

This is in addition to their B-Alert emergency notification system that’s synchronized with their free UAB safety app.

Chief Green says they always strive to enhance safety measures. They plan to add license plate readers on campus soon. He added their ultimate goal is to create the safest environment possible.

“And as a result, we seek the latest technology and again we’re a nationally accredited police department, so we take the analysis of our crime statistics, we take our training and how we communicate with our stakeholders and partners very serious when it comes to enhancing public safety throughout the area,” said Chief Green.

Angela Harris, the mother of Aniah Blanchard, said it’s incredibly important to have situational awareness and the courage to defend yourself if needed, especially on or around college campuses.

Harris says her daughter was a 19-year-old college student who stopped at a gas station in Auburn where she was kidnapped and later murdered.

It has since been her family’s mission to honor Aniah through a non-profit called Aniah’s Heart that teaches safety education and supports families with missing loved ones.

The family recently hosted a series of self-defense classes teaching basic defense moves for various scenarios in addition to concepts like ‘heads up, phones down.’

“Just make safety your number one priority,” said Harris. “Have a plan. Have a safety plan, and there’s so many things that go along in that safety plan, but the main things are know you can be a victim, know how to prevent yourself from becoming a victim and prepare yourself to fight.”

Harris said it takes a lot of courage and bravery, but it’s important to continue fighting the good fight to keep everyone and yourself safe just like Aniah would have wanted.