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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

MUPD provides update on Presidential task force

Photo by Forster Goodrich
At this year’s Presidential Address, Lovell updated campus on the status of the task force.

Since University President Michael Lovell introduced the Presidents’ Task Force on community safety and security a year ago, the Marquette University Police Department is reporting lower crime rates on campus.

Six months after the implementation of the task force, the university reported a 46% decrease in robberies, as well as a 26% decrease in vehicle thefts.

The Task Force, was created to establish solutions regarding campus safety and security concerns. The force focuses on strengthening the community partnerships and student security.

Some members of the force include: Edith Hudson, chair of the Safety Task Force and chief of MUPD, Rick Dillon, a member of the Marquette University Board of Trustees and Stephanie Quade, dean of students.

The Force has installed more security cameras, added more EagleExpress drivers, increased security access at residence halls and has extended safety text alerts to parents.

Out of the 12 initiatives brought on by the force, four are still in the works.

The initiatives still in progress include completing a campus lighting assessment, expanding the MUPD police aide program, increasing “under surveillance” signage on campus and the Marquette University Enhancing Safety Through Environmental Design Committee.

“The Safety Task Force brought a diverse set of eyes on the issue of safety on campus. It was good to see the many perspectives because as cops, we can look at issues from our police view and can miss other concerns that are important to the community we serve. There were a number of initiatives that came as a result of the Safety Task Force,” Jeff Kranz, assistant chief of MUPD, said in an email.

Initiatives such as: improving campus transportation into the “EagleExpress”, establishing a Behavioral Health Unit within MUPD, creating a holistic safety website and expanding safety text availability have already been completed. The Eagle Express’s recent implementation however has faced criticism from students.

Kranz said MUPD’s biggest effort right now is in hiring, and that they have a candidate for a Police Aide position alongside continued officer recruitment.

Joaquin Lopez, a sophomore in the College of Business Administration, said that while he has not directly had safety issues on campus, he knows other students who have had problems with safety.

“I had a friend back from Puerto Rico who transferred out of Marquette the year before I came here due to an incident, and that kind of scared me away before I came here,” Lopez said.

The safety text system, is where students can put in a phone number to receive texts from MUPD when there are threats and occurrences on campus.

Lopez said that the safety texts are reassuring and that the Eagle Eye app combined with the blue lights makes him feel safe.

“The limo and MUPD circling around campus 24/7, I always see their presence. It’s not like ten minutes go by without me seeing like an MUPD officer,” Lopez said.

“Every time I am walking out, I always kind of know where the nearest blue light is and it gives me a sense of security for sure,” Kaden Moss, senior in the College of Arts & Sciences, said.

Kranz said that because crime is ever-changing, the department’s strategies have to be flexible and that a big focus of their initiative currently is expanding data collection to best use available resources.

“Any time you bring a community together to focus on a problem it increases your chances for success. In my opinion, that is what the Safety Task Force did,” Kranz said in an email.

Kranz said that more collaborative work is being done between MUPD and the greater community, to further community partnership and communication.

For Moss, the safety text alerts keep him in the know of what is going on around campus.

“Since it has not impacted me personally, my only gage of how often crime on campus is happening is how often I get text alerts, and what MUPD reports as the crime statistics,” Moss said.

Moss said actions the MUPD is taking, such as security cameras is definitely a step in the right direction.

“The biggest boost to safety is making people aware. The recent focus on campus safety has everyone contributing to the discussion, With everyone working together I know we can create a safer community,” Kranz said in an email.

This story was written by Trinity Zapotocky. She can be reached at [email protected]

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About the Contributors
Trinity Zapotocky
Trinity Zapotocky, Assistant News Editor
Trinity Zapotocky is a sophomore studying Communications and Marketing. She is from Naperville, Illinois and is currently the Assistant News Editor for the Marquette Wire. In her free time she enjoys reading, watching Gilmore Girls, going to the gym, and trying new coffee spots. Trinity is excited to cover important news and grow at the Wire this year.
Forster Goodrich
Forster Goodrich, Staff Photographer
Forster Goodrich is a sophomore from Lyme, New Hampshire studying digital media. Forster works on the photography desk as a Staff Photographer. Outside of the Wire, he is on the club waterski team, and enjoys everything outdoors. He is looking forward to the upcoming basketball season and getting to photograph games at Fiserv Forum.

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