The University of Texas Police Department (UTPD) and the Office of Campus Safety work in partnership to continuously evolve and enhance safety measures on and around campus. We regularly pause to update the campus community on our progress as part of our commitment to strategically implement recommendations, form partnerships and realize other efforts to help our campus community feel secure and protected. The following are highlights from the 2018-19 school year; we could not do this without the help of our fellow Longhorns.
We’ve improved communication between our community and each other.
UTPD created a District Representative program that assigns eight officers to serve as community liaisons: six on campus, two off campus. Students, faculty and staff are now a couple of clicks away from directly emailing the officer assigned to their area. The program continues to be expanded, including interest-based liaisons for athletics, LGBTQIA+ and veterans affairs.
Upgraded computer systems support a quicker transfer of information to officers, which helps us respond to situations more quickly. Our emergency operations center, regional emergency radio system and indoor mass notification system were updated to reinforce our ability to communicate in the event of a crisis.
We engage our partners to work collaboratively in strengthening safety efforts.
The City of Austin, local business owners, and the off-campus resident hall association worked with us to help address and act on safety concerns in areas west of campus and on Riverside Drive. Code enforcement efforts encouraged the cleaning of alleyways and prompt removal of trash and debris, which results in a cleaner West Campus area. We also support the city’s Homeless Outreach Services Team to help people get the support they need, and UTPD joined the county’s Interagency Sexual Assault Team to learn best practices around investigating assault and better supporting survivors.
We invest in technology that improves security.
The “Your ID is Your Key” initiative includes restricted access designed to enhance building and personal security. Celebrated entrances on all campus facilities are clearly defined and enhanced with approach-way lighting, electronic access control and video interface. There are also interior safety hubs outfitted with a public access automated external defibrillator (AED), hemorrhage control kits, safety and wayfinding information, and an emergency call box that quickly connects with local law enforcement.
We educate the UT community to be proactive in personal safety.
UTPD’s free self-defense and other training events are posted online and also available by request. We partnered with Dell Medical School to conduct Stop the Bleed training; anyone can sign up to learn how to save a life. Ongoing messaging about personal safety is also included in signage across campus, in buildings and on a variety of social media platforms. We continuously remind students to “Call 911 Anytime You Feel Unsafe.”
These are just some examples of the accomplishments we’ve made this school year. We also support ongoing safety and security initiatives, such as the comprehensive nighttime transportation program that includes ride sharing opportunities, shuttle services, and walking escort programming, and ongoing efforts to improve pathway and building lighting and enhance visibility and safety.
As we said, we can’t do this without your input and support. Please submit any safety and security suggestions to Campus Safety or UTPD. And please keep up with the latest news by following Campus Safety on Facebook and Twitter, and UTPD on Facebook and Twitter.
Jimmy Johnson, Assistant Vice President for Campus Safety
David Carter, Assistant Vice President for Campus Security and Chief of Police