Much of Security’s mission, as stated in the “Think Safe” publication is to, “protect people at the university ?[and] educate our community about security issues, personal safety measures, and protective strategies?” But how many students have actually read the “Think Safe” publication, or even know where security is located? How can students find out exactly what measures are being taken in order to safeguard the UR campus and how best to utilize them?

UR Security protects about 20,000 students, faculty and staff, by patrolling all of River Campus, South Campus, Strong Hospital and the Eastman School of Music at all times.

In addition to responding to physical crimes, fire and other emergencies, security provides crime prevention training, security and safety bulletins and reports, building and area checks, “personal safety escorts,” and many other services.

The UR Security staff includes over 80 officers, and about 40 part-time student aides that work in selected areas of campus and residence halls.

Perhaps one of the most well-known safety measures are the over 100 “direct-dial blue light emergency phones” scattered around campus, designed to alert Security of an emergency if the phone is simply pulled off the hook.

According to the UR Security Web site, security receives over 200,000 calls each year, amounting to about 600 a day. Security Administrator Bob Bennett explained that, once installed, blue light phones are relatively low maintenance and considered very effective in almost any situation.

“Honestly, I do feel significantly safer with the blue light phones around,” freshman Erika Winkler said.

What many students don’t know is that these phones are not just for emergencies.

Students can pick up the phone to reach security at any time in order to utilize any one of their services. For a flat tire, students can call security who would then call a friend or an auto repair service. The same goes for car lights on, dead batteries or almost any other problem.

UR Security is somewhat unique in that any call to security from any phone ? blue light or otherwise ? will always connect the caller to a live dispatch, whether the caller dials x13 for an emergency or x53333 in a non-emergency situation.

Security can also be reached at their Administrative Offices, Towne House East, Suite 102, x53340, or River Campus Office, Community Learning Center, Garden Level, x35200.

Security is not just designed to handle a crime or emergency after it has happened ? getting information out to the students and faculty is of the utmost importance in both dealing with the aftermath of crimes and preventing them.

According to the “Think Safe” report, some ways security presents urgent information to the public including posted safety bulletins, phone mail trees to R.A.’s and others, emergency faxes, emails and mailings to departments and special meetings.

Ongoing prevention services include the security Web page, a campus crime log, security updates in the Campus Times and other media, direct mailings, a fax network and other services. Each year there is also the all campus Walk for Light, a guided tour of poorly lit and potentially dangerous areas on and near campus. Participants are encouraged to suggest ways to improve the safety of these areas. Everyone is encouraged to attend and participate in the Walk for Light, but Security is open to safety suggestions at all times.

“Response time from Security really varies, it’s very inconsistent and that is something that should definitely be addressed,” sophomore Jessica Flores suggested.

“I think security is doing a good job, but they could use more help on the weekends,” senior Katie Moore added.

During freshman orientation, copies of “Think Safe” are handed out to all incoming students, but other students and faculty can pick up a copy at the Student Activities Office located in Wilson Commons.

“Basically, security manages to keep us safe,” sophomore Jeff Klein said. “People speak poorly about them, but they would miss them if they weren’t there.”

Goemaat can be reached at kgoemaat@campustimes.org.

Engelstein can be reached at jengelstein@campustimes.org.



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