University Police reminds students of its patrols, services

Chance Swaim

After students have expressed recent safety concerns, the University Police Department is reminding them of their frequent patrols and other services.

Besides the main campus, officers also patrol parking lots at 21st and Oliver and the Metropolitan Complex at Oliver and 29th Street.

 Guy Schroeder, a support captain for University Police, said officers continue to patrol the areas until all students have safely left campus.

“We have designated patrols that run all the time,” Schroeder said. “We want our presence known, so we’re always rolling.”

During a safety forum last month with university and community leaders, graduate student Saeed Alsaleeb expressed concerns about nighttime campus safety.

“All my classes are in the evening,” Alsaleeb said. “All the while, I’m scared to walk from my class to my car.”

Schroeder said that although students may not see officers patrolling campus, that does not mean they are not there.

 “We have officers that may park and monitor a large area with binoculars so they can cover more area,” he said.

The department has 28 commissioned police officers, seven dispatchers, people in the records department and parking officers.

Schroeder said the department wants to do whatever it takes to serve and protect, but he acknowledged the reality that UPD cannot be everywhere all the time. So, he wants students to take measures to ensure their own safety.

“I want students, especially at night, to try to limit the time they are alone,” he said. “Do as much in groups as possible around campus. Try to travel in groups and move your cars into the campus lots after 5 p.m. if you have an evening class.”

If walking in groups is out of the question, or if students feel unsafe at any time, UPD can escort students back to their cars.

“It could just be you want us to watch you walk to your car so you feel safer,” Capt. Corey Herl said. “That is OK.”

“If you don’t feel safe and you call us — and I can’t stress this enough — do not the leave the building you are in until you see us,” Schroeder said.  

Students are also encouraged to program UPD’s telephone number, 978-3450, into their phones and have it available in case of emergencies.

“Let your instincts be your guide,” Schroeder said. “If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.”