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UCPD briefs students on new safety procedures

SG tries to engage students with UCPD safety practices.

Photo: Johnny Hung
Sergeant Queenola Smith explains UCPD initiatives to improve campus safety during Student Government's "A Conversation about Staying Safe" event on Wednesday.

UCPD officials provided updates on campus safety at an SG-sponsored panel, “A Conversation About Staying Safe”, on Wednesday as part of Public Safety Awareness Day. While it was intended for students to engage with the officials, no students attended the event.

According to UCPD Deputy Chief Fountain Walker, there has been a 14-percent drop in crime activity in Hyde Park due to activities by the UCPD and the Chicago Police Department compared to last year’s report.

“It’s a result of a collaborative effort, an educated community that knows what to do when something happens,” Walker said.

UCPD has enacted several changes to the safety system on campus, including the recent informal policy to let students know when they are practicing unsafe behavior. In addition, more students registered their laptops and bicycles with UCPD this year. Other improvements include higher-quality camera systems as well as an increase in the number of emergency phones.

Changes in UCPD jurisdiction, which were reflected in the boundary expansions two blocks north and one block south this past April, have spurred more collaboration between the Chicago Police Department and UCPD in developing security strategies and working on projects as a result of high crime rates in those areas.

Despite the low attendance, SG intends to continue providing similar opportunities for students.

“It’s unfortunate that students don’t make a better use of the opportunities that there are to interact with the people who make decisions that affect campus and student life, but that doesn’t mean that those opportunities should not continue to be made available to students,” SG President Renard Miller said. “Student Government will continue to make opportunities available and hopefully students will take advantage of them as they see fit.”

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