Safety Task Force approves 12 proposals for implementation

Safety+Task+Force+approves+12+proposals+for+implementation

Before shifting into the implementation phase on June 9, the President’s Task Force on Community Safety met for the last time May 31 where leaders from every safety workgroup gave recommendations.

Marquette University Police Department Chief Edith Hudson, chair of the task force, declared that the university’s Executive Leadership Team authorized 12 proposals for funding and application.

These proposals including reimagining campus transportation, in which seven new LIMO drivers have already been hired alongside a continued effort in recruiting.

The university is also beginning a behavioral health unit at MUPD, where a a mental health professional/behavioral health officer alongside a law enforcement crisis worker will work to find and individuals in need of services who have had frequent visits with police, or are have likely to. They will then deflect impacted individuals affected by untreated mental illness from the criminal justice system when possible.

Expanding the MUPD police aid program is another proposal made by the university, where MUPD will grow its present police aide program to three aides. The Office of University Relations is having a user-experience expert to create a holistic safety website to make it easier for anyone to discover and utilize safety information online.

The Task Force will also be increasing safety alert texting availability to parents with an improved technology platform, developing new safety signages for campus as well as the nearby neighborhood, establishing student tours of the Near West Side, increasing the annual budget for camera maintenance and repair and increasing ‘under surveillance’ signage on campus.

The Task Force decided they would be purchasing two mobile cameras and lights for MUPD to set up in areas of repeated crime, hoping to attract police attention despite officers maybe not being physically present.

As for the lights, the university said it will plan on conducting a campus lighting assessment and involving city officials for updates to public lighting.

The last proposal established constructing the Marquette University Enhancing Safety Through Environmental Design Committee, where the university hopes the committee will manage Marquette’s process and customs for preventing crime through their environmental design.

Concluding the meeting, University President Michael Lovell shared his appreciation to the members of the safety task force, and acknowledged them in their attention and speed in creating proposals for long-term solutions.

“Moving forward, a smaller implementation team will oversee and track project progress. This team includes the leads for each approved action; they will meet regularly to report on progress and share any changes,” Lovell said in the statement.

The university said they will continue to update students, faculty, staff, parents and neighbors as needed, including updating information on establishing secure access to residence halls due to the successful pilot on Humphrey Residence Hall. Humphrey was chosen due to their minimal student population and the current technology that the hall has.

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