University of Cincinnati increasing safety efforts

Nov 30, 2012

The University of Cincinnati is stepping up safety measures following several incidents in and around campus.

UC held a summit with campus and local police as well as other concerned parties to talk about how to prevent crime and promote safety.

For starters, UC police will increase patrols by 30 percent beginning in January.

Spokesman Greg Hand says  efforts will increase to make sure students understand how to watch out for themselves.

"With earbuds and a focus on texting while you're walking and a sort of cocooning effect that really wasn't possible as recently as 10 years ago or so, (we need to make) students aware that that sort of isolation actually makes them a prime candidate for activities that make them unsafe," he says.

The campus police department is also working on initiatives with Cincinnati police and the surrounding community to improve lighting and enhance safety programs.

Other summit highlights:

* UCPD and CPD will collaborate with the Uptown Consortium and the University of Cincinnati Institute of Crime Science (ICS) to standardize the collection, analysis and dissemination of crime data.  This will enable us to develop more and better data-driven solutions to safety and security.

* UC's Advisory Committee on Public Safety (ACOPS) and the Student Safety Board will work with CPD to develop a "Students on Patrol" program modeled on the "Citizens on Patrol" program.  

* CPD is exploring the feasibility of reassigning district boundaries within and around UC to improve efficiency and effectiveness.

* Student orientation will now include a joint presentation by UCPD and CPD on how students can best protect themselves and promote safety. 

* UCPD and CPD will enhance and expand its educational outreach to international students.

* CPD and the City will generate a cost estimate for increasing lighting, signage and other environmental assets in certain neighborhoods. 

* UCPD will study the impact of using of a mobile substation to increase its presence and visibility in targeted areas.

* The Student Safety Board will develop a proposal to expand the Bearcat Transportation System to include designated routes to and from popular student destinations.

* UCPD, CPD, ACOPS and the Student Safety Board will work together to design and implement a robust social media strategy for promoting safety.

* The President's Campus Safety Committee will engage UC's criminal justice faculty-who have built one of the most widely recognized and respected programs in the world-in the planning process.