By Andria Borba

BERKELEY (KPIX 5) – It’s the start of a new school year at Cal – the class of 2023 has arrived. Among the books and schedules and roommates to discover – Berkeley PD wants to make sure it’s newest denizens think about safety.

“Look at our statistics, which show that overall, Berkeley is a very safe town. Obviously, dangerous things happen in any town. Crime happens in any town, which is why we have a police department,” Officer Alex McDougall of Berkeley PD told KPIX5.

Just hours before the freshmen and their parents arrived, Berkeley detectives were investigating a violent attack just blocks away from Sproul Plaza that left one man in critical condition. It happened at the corner of Channing and Telegraph just before 2 a.m. “In there’s stairs of the garage they found a man suffering from injuries down on the ground,” said Officer McDougall.

Berkeley officers want to assure parents that Berkeley is safe, but that their students aren’t immune to crimes of opportunity – like cellphone and laptop thefts.

“You shouldn’t be looking down on it unaware, because that just puts you in a very vulnerable situation. But, I think you should have the ringer on just in case of emergencies. Maybe if you’re wearing headphones, only have like one in. Just check it often, but not be fully consumed by it,” said Incoming freshman Kate Sullivan from Long Beach.

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