The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Crime disparity on city campuses

  • Marquette has had only three armed robberies this semester, the lowest DPS has seen in years.
  • The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee reported 12 over the same period.
  • Police presence, student alertness, surveillance cameras and communication were cited as reasons why robberies have dropped.

Marquette has had only three armed robberies this school year — only two involving students — the fewest the Department of Public Safety has seen in years.

Neighboring University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee has had 12 robberies since September, according to reports posted on the school police department's Web site.

Capt. Michael Marzion, assistant chief of police of the UW-Milwaukee Police Department, said the number of on-campus robberies is tough to determine, since their police department patrols both on- and off-campus.

Drew Swan, a junior at UWM, said the alerts and e-mails that police send out serve as a reminder to be cautious.

Swan said he thinks all the on-campus presence of authority — like the Milwaukee Police Department, student safety patrol and parking cops — helps as a sort of detriment to those who might commit crimes.

"When you see that, you're going to think twice before robbing someone," Swan said.

At Marquette, there were three robberies in September, and none since, said Chief of Public Safety Larry Rickard. Prior to September, the last one occurred in May.

"I'm very pleased at the hard work that so many have put in to reducing crime," Rickard said. "It appears to be paying off."

But he added that it's cautious optimism and stopping crime is a continuous effort.

"We live in a city," he said. "We can never be complacent."

He attributed the low number of armed robberies to a wide range of forces. The Milwaukee Police Department, the newly installed surveillance cameras, sector patrols and the senior administration all contributed to making Marquette a safe campus.

Rickard said criminals are deterred by the cameras and the accompanying signage.

"Criminals are risk-adverse," Rickard said. "It they feel there's a chance of being caught, they'll go somewhere else."

Rickard also gave credit to students for the drop.

"We have seen a 27 percent increase in LIMO ridership and a 23 percent increase in the use of walking safety patrol. That means students are making smart choices," Rickard said.

Stephen Burke, a sophomore in the College of Engineering, said he has never felt in danger on campus.

"DPS does a great job of keeping people who don't belong on campus away," he said.

Rickard and Marzion both said that communication between area school's departments is a great asset to have.

Marzion said although they're separate entities, area college patrols communicate regularly.

Rickard said Marquette does the same thing. When crimes occur on campus, they alert the other departments so they can be aware.

A few weeks ago, there was a series of stolen wallets and purses from buildings at UWM, Marzion said. Their department told Marquette's Department of Public Safety, which then relayed the news to Milwaukee School of Engineering and Milwaukee Area Technical College. A suspect was discovered committing similar crimes at MATC, and it ended up being the same person who was stealing at UWM.

"It's a good network," Rickard said.

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