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Police increase presence near GVSU following assaults

Ottawa County Sheriff's Office seal
Ottawa County Sheriff's Office

Police are stepping up patrols and using plainclothes officers near Grand Valley State University.

Multiple sexual assaults have been reported in the vicinity of off-campus apartment complexes since the start of school. 

Captain Mark Bennett is with the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department. 

"It’s our belief that there certainly is a connection (between the cases)," he says. "To say definitely – at this point, I can’t do that but for investigative purposes we’re moving forward as if there is a connection.

"And I think that’ll assist us in going forward, putting together the pieces of the puzzle that we need to." 

Bennett says the department is working closely with GVSU campus police and local apartment management companies.

He adds they’ve obtained surveillance footage that may help authorities identify a suspect or suspects.

GVSU officials say they’re also meeting with apartment complexes and are increasing campus patrols, particularly on nights and weekends.

Police encourage anyone who sees anything suspicious to contact 911.

Hilary is a General Assignment and Enterprise reporter for WGVU Public Media. She joined WGVU in September 2014 after several years of experience as a local news reporter, anchor and photojournalist in Midland, Saginaw and Bay counties. She's also worked as a financial and business reporter and audio field producer.
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