Haruka Weiser and Harrison Brown

Safety and Security Update

Dear UT Community, 

This week marks the first anniversary of the tragic stabbing on campus in which Harrison Brown lost his life and three other UT students were injured. This spring, we also continue to remember the 2016 murder of Haruka Weiser on the Forty Acres.

As we remember those tragedies within the Longhorn community and honor the victims and survivors, we also continually strive to improve safety on our campus. We would like to provide an update on progress we have made. 

The April 2016 murder was the first to occur in 50 years on the UT Austin campus, which had historically been a safe place. This crime led President Fenves to commission a Texas Department of Public Safety review of campus safety, which highlighted key areas that needed to be addressed.

These recommendations were accepted and many have been implemented over the past 18 months:

  • Our staff of commissioned UTPD officers has increased from 67 to 104
  • Our security camera system continues to be enhanced and new security systems have been placed in buildings
  • We have reduced vegetation in specific areas on campus, in order to enhance visibility
  • We have increased lighting in specific areas on campus
  • We have designated a “Celebrated Entrance” for every building on campus and implemented polices and technology that limit building access to only faculty, staff, and students after hours
  • We continue to encourage the UT community to be proactive in personal safety through the Be Safe campaign

Last year’s stabbing reaffirmed many of the DPS recommendations and revealed other areas for improvement such as the need for first aid assistance across campus, and encouraging the community to dial 911 to report suspicious behavior.  With this in mind, we have:

  • Equipped our building entrances with “safety hubs” that include AEDs and Stop the Bleed kits for rendering first aid
  • Partnered with Stop the Bleed campaign in conducting training across campus
  • Emphasized the message to Call 911 Anytime You Feel Unsafe through the Be Safe campaign
  • Added a dedicated communications director to UTPD to improve communications and community engagement

As we look to the 2018-2019 school year, safety remains our top priority. While we are continuing the work based on the DPS recommendations, we are also committed to the long-term focus on making the Forty Acres even safer.

We have plans to further enhance our camera system and install more safety hubs. The university is working with the City of Austin and our private partners in the West Campus area and Riverside corridor to enhance lighting for pedestrian travel. Should you see any need for lighting improvement on campus, we would like to hear from you. Please call 512-232-2020 with location information.

Please give your feedback about any safety-related issues on the Be Safe website. And please keep up with the latest news by following UTPD on Facebook, Twitter and the Be Safe account on Instagram.

We are here for you.

Jimmy Johnson, Assistant Vice President for Safety
David Carter, Assistant Vice President for Security and Chief of Police

Be Aware

UTPD Takes Proactive Safety Measures Given Recent Events

We understand the bombing incidents that have occurred in and around Austin have caused great concern.

Use your creativity to help share the Be Safe message!

UT Austin students, faculty members and staff members are invited to help shape the Be Safe campaign. We want you to create posters, social media, paintings, sculptures, poetry – you can use absolutely any creative venue to help share the Be Safe message. Your creativity could be showcased in a number of ways – including being shown on the jumbotron at a UT game to 100,000 fans!

Rides from UTPD

If you are on campus and need a ride between 8 pm and 2 am, call UTPD at 512-471-4441 and then hit #9 to make your request.

We encourage your feedback

The University of Texas at Austin invites your comments about safety and security on campus.

Follow Be Safe on social media and tag #SafeChats:

Download and share Be Safe materials

Download PDFs to print and post, as well as digital media to share via your own communication channels.