Monday night, Security issued an AlertUR message responding to an off-campus threat two blocks north of the Riverview Apartments. Rochester Police Department (RPD) later determined the threat to be a hoax. On Sunday, there was an armed robbery in a University Park apartment—the first reported robbery on campus in 19 months—and there have been a series of incidents in the streets around the Eastman School of Music.
Let me underline that the safety of our students, faculty, staff, patients, and visitors is our first priority. Whenever there is an incident, we review our activities and take actions appropriate to that situation, which may include increased patrols and special collaboration with local law enforcement. We are now engaged in such a review. We are working with the RPD to increase safety in the area surrounding Eastman. Our crime prevention officers and senior Security staff regularly meet with University groups, and they will meet with several groups this week.
University Security has 135 professionally trained staff. It maintains 195 Blue Light Emergency Phones and 290 security cameras. Security also uses the AlertUR emergency notification system and sends security notices whenever appropriate.
We evaluate and improve our safety program on a regular basis and undertook a comprehensive review of Security operations in 2011. That review led to University-backed legislation that Governor Cuomo signed in December 2012 allowing Security to begin training designated personnel as sworn peace officers with expanded authority, including the authority to make arrests.
The 2011 review reaffirmed that the University’s campuses are safe places, but “safe” never means “absolutely safe.” We must all be careful to take the normal precautions, walking in groups at night, remaining vigilant, and using cell phones only when necessary. It is a good idea periodically to review the safety tips in Think Safe. You can find an electronic copy at www.security.rochester.edu/TS2012LQ-2.pdf.