The Marquette Police Department responded to 53 incidents during winter break, 17 of which occurred on campus and 10 involved people associated with Marquette.
Marquette Police Chief Paul Mascari said the amount of incidents made the break “pretty quiet” for MUPD. There were multiple days in which no incidents were reported, and other days that had exclusively off-campus incidents.
The largest category type was theft, with 10 incidents. There were a total of seven incidents involving motor vehicles; five thefts from a car, one theft of a car, and one incident of vandalism to a car.
There were two burglary cases, along with two robbery cases, none of which occurred on campus. Additionally, there was one report of sexual assault involving two students that occurred off campus, and one complaint of online harassment.
Mascari and Captain Jeff Kranz said MUPD’s mission remains consistent with previous semesters. The department will continue to protect students and the surrounding community, taking action only when a threat presents itself.
“We’re not the beer police,” Mascari said. “It is our philosophy that student behavioral issues are best dealt with at the conduct level.”
University President Michael Lovell announced in his Jan. 18 presidential address that robberies are down 28 percent and burglaries are down 53 percent since the transition from the Department of Public Safety to MUPD in May 2015.
Following Lovell’s announcement, Kranz was asked what MUPD will do to make sure burglaries and robberies remain lower. “The plan for the rest of the school year is business as usual,” he said.
Taser/body camera update
A somewhat controversial step taken at the beginning of last year to help with that goal of deterrence was to make tasers available to MUPD officers.
So far, the tasers have received minimal use. “They’ve only been deployed two times since we got them,” Kranz said.
Both Mascari and Kranz said tasers have been useful in helping the force in their goal of deescalating situations. They stressed that the main purpose of the tasers is to be able to get individuals acting in an unlawful manner to comply with police orders. When people acting in unlawful manners know the police have tasers, they are much more likely to comply, according to Mascari and Kranz.
Another topic of interest last semester was the possible implementation of body cameras for MUPD officers. As of now, Mascari said body camera implementation is a major change and will likely not occur until summer. That way, according to Mascari, the cameras will be fully ready to go for when the full student population is back.