New Safety Task Force action steps announced

The 43-member President’s Task Force on Community Safety met on Monday, March 28, where all workgroups presented 30- and 60-day recommendations to address the recent increase in crime in our community while being mindful of our mission. The following immediate action steps have been approved:

  1. Add police patrols: The Marquette University Police Department will partner with the Milwaukee Police Department to add officers for strategic patrol deployment while MUPD continues its recruiting efforts for open positions. MPD contracted officers will begin in early April to further support MUPD with surveillance and intervention.
  2. More security officers: Additionally, the university worked with an outside security firm to add two more uniformed security officers who began duty this week. These officers will receive their surveillance assignments from MUPD each morning and will patrol on foot the area of 14th Street to 20th Street from Wells Street to State Street. They are unarmed and wearing black uniforms with high-visibility vests so students can identify them. The university will work with the outside security firm to seek more personnel in the coming weeks.
  3. Additional LIMO drivers: Four new student drivers have been hired for the LIMO service, and one new non-student has been hired for the LIMO Express. The university and MUPD continue to actively recruit student LIMO drivers, offering an increased signing bonus of $500, and to recruit more non-student drivers to improve resource availability.
  4. Expand Ambassador program: Safety Task Force members will work with Near West Side Partners to expand their successful Ambassador program to Marquette. Through their patrols, the ambassadors connect residents, businesses, law enforcement, local, non-deputized security operations and social service agencies. They deal with non-criminal quality of life issues, property violations, blight reporting and documenting nuisances.
  5. More security cameras: The university will install more cameras across campus to further augment real-time campus visibility to MUPD, which currently has 1,100 cameras already active on campus. Installation will begin immediately and continue over the course of the next several months.
  6. Expanded safety content at SPARK and new student orientation: The university will expand safety content for all incoming students during SPARK and student orientation this summer. The first SPARK session begins in June.
  7. Making residence halls and other campus buildings more secure: The university launched the pilot of restricted access to a residence hall and the AMU restricted access protocols after 8 p.m. The pilot program for the new access protocol was approved for use in other residence halls. This change will be fully implemented in the remaining residence halls by fall.

Additional recommendations in progress

The above are the first recommendations from the task force to be approved, and remaining ideas from each workgroup are being further refined and assessed for feasibility to inform implementation. Future recommendations will be vetted by the president, provost and senior vice president and chief operating officer. The Safety Task Force continues to work through these details as well as prepare longer term recommendations, which are due on May 1.

Each workgroup has a specific purview, and representatives shared insights from benchmarking along with their ideas. A summary of each workgroup discussion follows:

  • Safety Measures – Institutional: In addressing all aspects of increasing safety through environmental design and caring for our physical space, this workgroup offered ideas involving restricted building access in residence halls and campus buildings; camera blind spots; improving campus lighting; building security assessments; and working with the city on traffic calming and pedestrian safety measures.
  • Safety Measures – Individual: This workgroup provided ideas to strengthen existing safety educational programs offered through MUPD; natural opportunities to improve safety counsel in current events and programming (orientation, service learning, internships); and to develop campus-wide campaigns for year-round safety awareness. A key recommendation from this workgroup is coordinating today’s Campus Safety Student Forum with MUSG to gather student feedback.
  • Community Partnership: This workgroup presented ideas involving partnership with Near West Side Partners, Menomonee Valley Partners and local businesses; considerations for a more robust police aide program to develop the talent pipeline and engage youth; more community engagement activities to build trust and collaboration; increased engagement with off-campus landlords; and ways to incentivize property safety improvements.
  • Communications: This workgroup shared ideas about ways to better utilize the EagleEye app (Apple App Storeand Google Play for Android) for all safety communication; increasing access to current safety alert text messages and email follow-ups; potential emergency communications technologies in campus buildings; developing a non-emergency safety communications plan with MUPD; and reviewing safety alert processes for ways to improve efficacy.
  • Resources: This workgroup provided ideas to support MUPD recruitment for open officer positions; expansion of the Near West Side Partners Ambassador program; adding more utility to the EagleEye app for transportation locator services; incentives for students to complete MUPD crime and safety programming; and visible reporting from MUPD on incident clearance rates.

Submitted ideas are shared with workgroups

The Safety Task Force is encouraged by the tremendous response from Marquette community members sharing ideas through the website form. All feedback and suggestions are being documented and shared with the appropriate workgroups as part of their discussions and assessments.

Task force progress will be shared in Marquette Today as new actions are approved.

Reminder about university counseling services

Given recent safety incidents on and near campus, we encourage anyone who is experiencing a crisis or a trauma response to contact Marquette’s Counseling Center at 414-288-7172 to speak to a counselor on-call. The Center is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. and currently offers both virtual and in-person clinical services. Students should call the main number to schedule an initial screening appointment with a professional counselor or can walk in for urgent concerns during business hours.

For mental health emergencies on weekdays after 4:30 p.m., on weekends or during most holidays, call MUPD at 414-288-6800 and request to speak with the on-call counselor.

There are additional support options for anyone experiencing anxiety or high stress, such as consulting a campus minister, a residence hall director, a mentor or your academic adviser.