Dear Marquette community:
Like other cities across the country, Milwaukee is experiencing higher than usual rates of crime. Several recent incidents have affected our campus, creating heightened concern around safety and security. As a parent of college-aged children, I know firsthand that a safe campus community is paramount for our entire Marquette community.
A hallmark of Jesuit universities is their locations in urban areas, ensuring solidarity with their communities. Marquette University has a proud 141-year history in the City of Milwaukee as an anchor institution in our Near West Side neighborhood. Since I came to Marquette, we have adopted a holistic and inclusive approach to campus and community safety through the creation of Near West Side Partners, the commissioning of our Marquette University Police Department and an increased focus on community engagement – and we are committed to doing more.
Marquette is taking the following immediate actions:
- Launching a President’s Task Force on Community Safety: MUPD Chief Edith Hudson, a 25-year veteran of the Milwaukee Police Department, will chair the President’s Task Force on Community Safety. The Task Force, which will include students, parents and community partners, will convene immediately to develop 30-day, 60-day and longer-term plans to impact the campus and community safety. I will be personally involved with the Task Force, challenging the group to seek actionable, lasting solutions that add to the infrastructure, tools and technology we have today. Watch Marquette Today for additional information on the task force membership and ways to get involved.
- Hiring additional MUPD officers to increase patrol visibility on campus: We will add four additional MUPD officers who will be deployed to the areas of campus where most of the pass-through crime takes place. MUPD has also created a special team of officers dedicated to patrolling impacted areas of campus. The Task Force will assess the need for any additional resources. The university remains grateful for the sworn MUPD officers and trained security professionals who patrol campus 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
- Providing additional LIMO resources: To improve response times and availability, MUPD will hire additional LIMO drivers and assess whether additional LIMO vans are needed. Our LIMO program transports Marquette community members to campus locations 365 days a year, ensuring safe arrival to their homes, cars and buildings. Whenever possible, students should use the free LIMO van service provided by MUPD, especially at night.
- Continuing Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED): MUPD will continue using CPTED — a multi-disciplinary approach to crime prevention through the design and management of built and natural environments — to assess and improve lighting, security cameras and traffic calming measures that deter bad actors from passing through our campus.
- Implementing additional building security measures: We are working to implement MUID swipe access to campus buildings, including the Alumni Memorial Union, after business hours, and to require MUID card access to enter residence halls. This will add additional protection beyond the 24/7 front desk staffing in all residence halls.
- Convening a meeting with City of Milwaukee and community leaders: This issue is bigger than Marquette. I have spoken with Milwaukee’s acting mayor and the chief of the Milwaukee Police Department, and I will reach out to additional law enforcement leaders and community partners to explore how our organizations can collaborate to address the systemic roots of crime. Marquette will continue working closely with the City of Milwaukee on safety enhancement measures.
I promise full institutional support to address the recent crime trends in our region and ensure the safety and security of our campus community and surrounding neighborhood.
Dr. Michael R. Lovell