DPS assures students’ safety despite MKE shooting spike

Homicides in Milwaukee increased by 19 percent this year, although none of the violent crimes took place on Marquette’s campus. Russell Shaw, captain of the Department of Public Safety, said he wants to assure students they are still safe on campus.

“The university gives us a lot of resources and man power, and to be effective we have to be diligent,” Shaw said.

Shaw also said the department hasn’t done anything specific in terms of officers on patrol or other measures.

“Despite the spike in shootings this year, we fortunately haven’t had to deal with anything on campus,” Shaw said.

According to reports from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the closest homicide to Marquette took place to the west and a few blocks south of Marquette University High School, near 33rd Street.  A string of homicides was also reported south of Interstate-94 and National Avenue.

Although the Marquette crime report indicates that there were no violent crimes, the Milwaukee Police Department’s crime report for the week of Sept. 2 highlights two instances of shots fired near the corner of Wisconsin Avenue and 25th Street.

Shaw said the added security the DPS provides is beneficial to students, which is shown through the crime statistics.

“We patrol a fairly large area, and although we’re always concerned (about crime) we haven’t dictated anything special,” Shaw said.

Shaw said DPS patrols as far west as 24th Street and Wisconsin Avenue to as far north as Highland Avenue.

Travis Mantel, a sophomore in the College of Business Administration, said he feels safe living on campus amid the rise in homicides in Milwaukee.

“Even with all the shootings, I do feel safe on campus,” Mantel said. “This is because at night I always walk with someone. I do not walk alone.”

Mantel also said he appreciates the university’s efforts to keep the campus safe for students.

“Marquette does a great job lighting up campus, which also makes me feel more safe at night,” Mantel said. “It doesn’t take long to figure out where you should walk and where you shouldn’t walk.”

He said the increase in violent crime has not changed his outlook on the city.

“I have the mentality that nothing will happen to me when I go out,” Mantel said. “Until something does happen to me, I will continue to have that mentality.”

According to a 2012 report by DPS, a total of five aggravated assault cases and one hate crime took place on Marquette’s campus between 2009 and 2011.

The number of violent crimes committed on Marquette’s campus in 2012 will not be published by DPS until October. The Tribune will publish information for 2012 once data is available.