Kim Manahan

By Kim Manahan (Whetstone Staff Writer)

I tend to make some interesting friends when I walk the two blocks to either the bus stop or to campus.

It’s no wonder – now that I know there are 40 registered sex offenders in a half-mile radius of the college (see front page story).

I’m sure many other women at this school, and even some men, will concur.

I won’t go into how many times I have been asked by strangers whether I’m married, have a boyfriend or would like to meet up at some weird time in some weird place.

Half a mile down the road from campus is an army-navy store, from which I have purchased three cans of pepper spray and a boot knife, along with the pocket knife I got at Spence’s Bizarre a couple of years ago.

Pepper spray is a pretty good thing to have, no matter where you live.

Anything else may prove dangerous if you don’t know how to use it.

Dover’s not dangerous. It’s definitely not Camden, N.J., or Brooklyn – but it’s probably a shell-shock to some of us since most of us are down here alone, away from family and familiarity.

It was a bit of a shell-shock one night, though, when a man stood in my front yard and fired a gun into the house across the street. BANG! BANG! BANG!

That’s New Street – one block from campus – for you, though.

I was baffled – but not surprised – at the last open house when a father of a prospective student told me that they had told him downstairs that there was no crime around campus.

Being my blunt self, I let him know there was some, but not a lot.

He seemed surprised about my honesty, but not scared.

Yes, we had a couple of murders off of campus last year – none of which involved students. But it’s not like there are shoot-outs down the road every day.

The people around here are nice for the most part – so long as you don’t bother them.

On one side of Wesley’s campus lies the historic downtown district of Dover; on the other side sit houses that have been converted into cheap apartments.

One of the reasons why there are many sex offenders and crime in this area is because of these cheap apartments.

At the bottom of many job applications, it asks if you have ever been charged with a crime – other than a minor traffic violation.

Sex offenses fall under this.

Do the math – without numbers.

Low-priced apartments and homes to rent around the college, plus a population of people unable to gain employment for reasons that may include a criminal background, equals them living in these places by campus.

That seems to be the logistics of it.