Marquette Wire

How the MUPD alert system works

Photo by Wire Stock Photo

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Milwaukee crime data from 2014 revealed the city has a crime index of 3 on a scale of 1 to 100, with 100 being the safest. This means that Milwaukee is safer than three percent of cities in the United States.

Milwaukee experiences a significant amount of crime, meaning it is important for police to notify the public when an incident takes place. The Marquette University Police Department currently has a text message alert system that notifies students when a robbery occurs in their vicinity. 

Robberies are one of the most common occurrences on Marquette’s campus. According to the Annual Security and Fire Safety Report there were 31 reported robberies on-campus and on public property combined in the past three years.

According to MUPD Chief Paul Mascari, texts are sent when a suspect is not apprehended at the scene and there is potential danger to students following the particular incident.

“If we have a robbery and we don’t catch the person, we are going to put an alert out,” Mascari said. “If we have a robbery, we get the person into custody, and there is no threat to campus, then we will not issue a text message warning to students.” 

The apprehension usually occurs shortly after the incident, according to MUPD Capt. Jeff Kranz.

“We are trying to get the alert out as quickly as possible to notify students that they should stay away from that particular area until further notice,” Kranz said. “There have been instances where we send out an alert and catch the suspect 15 minutes later. In that instance we would try and send out another notice saying that the subject was apprehended.”

One student said he believes MUPD’s alert system is effective.

“I feel like MUPD is doing a good job of keeping the students alerted when a serious crime takes place,” Matt Melinyshyn, a junior in the College of Business Administration, said. “As long as I know what area to avoid, I’m happy.”

When MUPD dispatch receives a robbery call, they are responsible for writing the alert to students.

“Dispatch draws out the message when they get the call from a student,” Mascari said.

Chief Mascari reiterated that all robberies are reported in the daily log. 

“Regardless of if we apprehend the subject or not, all robberies and crimes appear on our daily crime log the next business day,” Mascari said.

For example, if there is a robbery Sunday night and MUPD apprehends the suspect, there would be no text alert sent out; however, this would appear on the crime log on Monday morning.

MUPD covers a particular area on and around campus. This area extends north to Highland Ave. and south to Valley Fields. It also expands west to 24th St. and east to 7th St.

“We actually put out more alerts than required,” Kranz said. “There are some students that obviously live off-campus, so we try to make the alerts as beneficial to the students as possible.” 

 

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