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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

DPS deters crime on Wells Street

Photo by Danny Alfonzo/ [email protected]

Businesses surround all college campuses, and many of those at Marquette are restaurants running down Wells Street. During the weekends, the Department of Public Safety must often intervene in either removing or calling the Milwaukee Police Department to arrest those causing a disturbance. Just this past weekend, a student was battered while in a business on the street.

The businesses on Wells all lease from Marquette, which is why DPS is able to intervene. That combined with the proximity of DPS to Wells is beneficial.

“What we try to do, we try to provide all that we can for them, so if they have trouble in their business, they will call us,” Capt. Russell Shaw said. “We are very close and we will get there. They are responsible for the property because they are leasing it, but obviously we will try to provide any assistance we can.”

The most reoccurring crime on Wells St. is shoplifting. While this clearly does not happen at the restaurants, it is especially prevalent at 7-11.

Sharnette Woodson, a 7-11 employee, explained ways the convenience worked to prevent theft.

“A lot of the time, we ask them, ‘are you going to pay for that?’ or we call the police and then they will come and they (the shoplifter) will be banned from the store,” Woodson said.

After the employees at 7-11 see someone walking out of the store with a product, they provide information to DPS allowing them to identify the suspect. In many situations, MPD is then called in after the shoplifter is verbally detained by DPS. Due to the university’s urban environment, Shaw said it is rare for a student to commit the crime.

The other reports that get written up from Wells Street are for drunk and disorderly conduct happening at the food establishments on Friday or Saturday nights. The employees call DPS if they feel they need assistance with a specific subject who is intoxicated.

“We are just going into these businesses to provide our presence and if in fact it is something with having the business agent just wanting the person to leave their establishment, then that’s all we do,” Shaw said. “Now if it is a student, we will obviously speak to them and if they were disorderly or disruptive, then we will try to gather information and try to find out who that individual is.”

It is up to the establishment whether or not the intoxicated person will be arrested. When it comes to Marquette students, there are often extra steps.

“If we are dealing with someone who is drunk or intoxicated, it will only be if the agent from the store wished for them to be arrested,” Shaw said. “Once we determine if it is a Marquette student, we will always look at the medical side of it. If they become disorderly towards us, then we will call MPD and have them cited for disorderly conduct.”

Myriel Werner, a freshman in the College of Health Sciences, said she did not feel uncomfortable with crime around campus because of the security provided by DPS.

“I think Marquette does a pretty good job of keeping people safe with LIMOs and the Blue Light phones so I never feel that uncomfortable,” Werner said.

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