UB invests $5.3 million to improve campus safety
Safety and behavior in University Heights also being addressed
“We always urge all members of the campus community, our students, staff, faculty and visitors to guard their safety.”
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UB is working closely with students, neighborhood leaders and the City of Buffalo to provide a safe and secure environment on its South Campus.
UB has doubled the number of University Police officers on patrol during the evening and night hours, and is installing security cameras, new and additional exterior lighting, and replacing the campus’s blue light emergency phones with state-of-the-art blue light emergency phones, plans that have been in place since prior to the two assaults that occurred recently on the South Campus, says Gerald W. Schoenle Jr., chief of University Police.
In addition, UB police have set up information tables on security in Harriman Hall on the South Campus and in the residence halls for students, faculty and staff, Schoenle says, and additional workshops and materials are being added to UB’s ongoing crime awareness program.
The South Campus site lighting and security system project was begun shortly after commencement in May. In all, 650 new light standards will replace the 575 lights that previously illuminated the campus, providing lighting that is 25 percent brighter.
In addition, University Facilities is in the process of installing 76 security cameras that will record 24 hours a day and keep a 30-day record of activity, and 19 blue light emergency phones, which are replacing older phones already on campus and increasing the total number available. The phones are equipped with speakers that can transmit an audio message in a 1,000-foot radius to allow the broadcast of emergency announcements, if needed.
Emergency phones and security cameras are integrated so that when a phone is used, a camera will zoom in on the location and the images will be immediately relayed to University Police.
The enhanced lighting portion of the project is expected to be completed by Oct. 15, with the entire project on target to be wrapped up by Nov. 30. Cost of the project is $5.3 million.
Safety on campus is not the only concern the university is addressing. UB is conducting programs aimed at improving safety and behavior in the neighborhoods where UB students live and gather, Schoenle says. UB also is purchasing three new security cameras for the Buffalo Police Department that will be positioned within problem areas in University Heights.
On Saturday, UB will conduct Operation Doorhanger, an annual program in which the university distributes more than 4,000 doorhangers and magnets containing important phone numbers and safety reminders to students and other residents in University Heights.
In addition to safety tips, residents of the neighborhoods surrounding the South Campus will receive information on whom to call if there are problems in their neighborhood, and the university is pursuing an initiative that addresses disruptive student parties before they begin.
“We always urge all members of the campus community, our students, staff, faculty and visitors to guard their safety, ” Schoenle says. “And for our students, conducting themselves responsibly and safely at all times on and off campus must be a constant priority.”
University Police is in contact with the Buffalo Police Department whenever incidents occur on or off campus, and this month is beginning a program of regular meetings between the agencies to exchange information and discuss strategies to prevent future incidents.
In addition, the Anti-Rape Task Force offers escort services from 8 p.m. to midnight Sunday through Thursday to walk any member of the campus community to any location on both the South and North campuses—car, academic building or residence hall.
The Anti-Rape Task Force also offers a safety van on the South Campus seven days a week from 8 p.m. until midnight. The van picks up passengers at three different locations: Goodyear Hall, Main Loop and Health Sciences Library. The van operates in 20-minute intervals and will drive men and women to any destination within a 1.5 mile radius of the South Campus, with the exception of Campus Manor and Kensington Village.
Crime prevention information is available to the university community at the University Police website. Student safety tips have been posted to the UB student Intranet, My UB, and will be reinforced to students throughout the year.
As part of UB’s regular safety intiatives, members of University Police will provide safety training programs upon request.