DENTON, Texas - The Denton Police Department wants the city’s large college crowd and local late-night hotspots to pick up on a campaign to curb sexual violence.
If someone feels threatened while on the town, they're being told to "ask for Angela."
In a city with thousands of college students, Denton police say that preventing sexual assault is a top priority.
So they’re introducing a new friend in town named Angela.
“It’s really just an extra method for someone to ask for help that feels like they’re in a dangerous situation,” said Allison Vetere, with Denton PD.
Police say if someone feels uncomfortable in a bar or restaurant, he or she can find an employee and ask for Angela.
Staff will be trained to discreetly pull the person aside and find out how they can help.
“It could be a police response, it could be asking to borrow a phone, or it could be organizing a ride home for that person or escorting them to their car,” Vetere explained.
Several hangouts have already partnered with Denton PD, including Backyard on Bell and Mulberry Street Cantina.
“It’s worth it. No one wants to go to a place out in a social setting if they have one time felt uncomfortable there,” Mulberry Street Cantina co-owner Spencer McFarling said.
McFarling said he just trained his team on what to do when someone asks for Angela.
“And we have a place in the back where the staff can take down your name and your information to make sure that it’s not a recurring incident with a particular person that’s bothering you,” he said.
Denton police have distributed flyers, not only to local hot spots, but also the University of North Texas, Texas Woman’s University, and North Texas Central College.
If you’ve heard of this before, it’s because it’s been around for a few years.
The Ask for Angela campaign started in the United Kingdom back in 2016.
It’s since spread to cities all over the world.
And now, it’s in Denton.
“It’s something that is not too difficult, I mean, it’s a name I think that anybody can remember,” said Maria Rayo, who works in Denton.