Safety concerns on Marquette University’s campus and in the greater Milwaukee community

Marquette+University+Police+Department+sends+out+safety+alerts+when+it+deems+there+is+an+ongoing+threat+to+campus.+

Photo by Sarah Kuhns

Marquette University Police Department sends out safety alerts when it deems there is an “ongoing” threat to campus.

There were three cops shot in Milwaukee in two weeks. One of which happening near Marquette University’s campus.

During the beginning of this academic year, there were three armed robberies on campus in a span of three weeks.

Between 2019 and 2020, the murder rate in the United States rose 30%. Cities across the U.S. have been experiencing higher rates of crime than usual lately. This includes Marquette’s hometown— Milwaukee.

With Milwaukee having 33,619 reported crimes last year, safety becomes a concern on Marquette’s campus.

These crimes include homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, theft-larceny, motor vehicle theft and arson.

University President Michael Lovell said the university is launching a President’s Task Force focusing on community safety, hiring more Marquette University Police Department officers, adding additional LIMO resources, continuing Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design, implementing new building safety measures and holding a meeting with City of Milwaukee and community leaders.

Tess Brennan, a sophomore in the College of Nursing, that since there have been several safety emails this semester, she said she is glad the Marquette University Police Department is doing something about all of the crime on campus instead of ignoring it.

“This semester particularly there has been a lot of crazy things going on,” Brennan said.

Responding to having a “higher than usual” rate of crime on campus, University President Michael Lovell announced several safety measures Marquette will be implementing to maintain a safe environment.

“I promise full institutional support to address the recent crime trends in our region and ensure the safety and security of our campus community and surrounding neighborhood,” Lovell said in the statement.

MUPD Chief Edith Hudson said that having an increased police presence hold many important values on campus.

“The first is that officers will be more visible and more accessible to students,” Hudson said. “Also, additional visibility and presence is a deterrent to people who are interested in opportunistic-type crimes.”

Hudson said these plans provide MUPD with an opportunity to give more voice to their community and said she is excited to discover what initiatives they come up with and seeing how they will impact Marquette’s campus.

“Students I think are really really busy and sometimes it’s kind of hard to engage students in talking with MUPD about safety and other issues, but because President Lovell has really shown how important this is to him – I think that we’ll have more students participation as well as parents and other community members,” Hudson said.

Emilio Munoz, a first-year in the College of Engineering, also appreciates the university and MUPD putting safety first.

“Safety is pretty important and should always be kind of first priority — especially when you’re just walking around,” Munoz said.

MUPD issues safety alerts through text message and email for parents, students, faculty and staff of the Marquette community. They also post updates to their Twitter account.

“What I would ask is that students give us a little grace and just trust us — trust that we have your best interest at … heart and we’re going to get the information out to you,” Hudson said. “And if there’s a bit of a delay, it’s not because there’s a threat – it’s not because we’re trying to hide something from you, it’s because either we’re waiting on more information or it’s just not appropriate for us at that moment to share information with you.”

So far into 2022, there have been 30 homicides in Milwaukee — which is 15 more compared to last year at the same date. Six of them occurred on the 2500 block of North 21st Street.

“As a parent of college-aged children, I know firsthand that a safe campus community is a paramount for our entire Marquette community,” Lovell said in the statement.

This story was written by Julia Abuzzahab. She can be reached at julianna.abuzzahab@marquette.edu