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New program promotes campus safety

Published: Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 19:07

Students living on campus might have seen recent changes in security measures in and around residence halls after the newly implemented Community Oriented Police Services program began.

COPS is a program that utilizes three satellite offices in on-campus housing areas to provide security for those living in residence halls and to provide educational programs to the student body. The organization's goal is to promote personal safety and have a presence on campus with officers patrolling, said Mike Krenz, assistant director for resident life risk management.

"The officers found that when we do community policing, people are more willing to report things," Krenz said. "They stop seeing them as the guys on the street with a radar gun and begin to trust the police," Krenz said.

The program began during the summer of 2005 and has been implemented in both the north and south sides of the campus, Krenz said. It was not brought about because of heightened crime on campus, but to assist students, he said.

"The COPS program is a way to provide additional services to students who live on campus," he said.

Among other tasks, officers manning the assigned areas on campus report criminal and safety issues as seen, create programs for resident halls and University Apartments, conduct foot-patrols and visit with residents and staff members, said Sgt. Allan Baron, public information officer with the University Police Department.

"The Community Oriented Police Services program is a partnership between the Department of Residence Life and the Department of Security and University Police," Baron said. "The goal is for the officers to be available, to be seen, and to be heard."

The program's offices are open on Tuesdays and Thursdays and are located on the north side of campus in Lounge A1, on the campus' south side in the Commons Lobby and in the University Apartments maintenance building.

While it is difficult to judge the program's success, a COPS survey is in the works to better evaluate student views, Krenz said.

"There has been a high utilization of the services," he said. "Programs like a BBQ, bike engraving and Safe Spring Break have all been well-attended."

Dana Brown, a junior English major and Neeley Hall resident, said the program will allow her and other on-campus residents to feel more secure in the future.

"I am out a lot at night going to and from the parking garage or walking back from the library," Brown said. "It is comforting to know that officers will be there if you need them."

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