Safety initiatives advance at Marquette University

Marquette University strives to be the safest environment possible in which to learn, live and work. The university continuously addresses campus and community safety through innovative programming, educational efforts, technological advances and the best-trained campus law enforcement staff in the area, including the commissioned Marquette University Police Department and nationally recognized Department of Campus Safety

In January 2022, President Michael R. Lovell convened the President’s Task Force on Community Safety to create actionable and lasting solutions for individual and institutional safety measures, communications, resources and partnerships. Safety Task Force members included students, parents and community partners who worked alongside Marquette faculty and staff to determine short- and long-term solutions. 

Here are some notable safety investments made on campus and in partnership with the surrounding community.

Reimagining campus transportation

In January 2023, Marquette launched EagleExpress, a free ride share service that uses an app to manage ride requests. EagleExpress vans run 5 p.m. to 3 a.m. daily and provide door-to-door service from locations starting and ending on campus — a safer way to navigate campus at night than walking alone.

Secure building access

In response to feedback shared with the Safety Task Force, the university made numerous changes to building access to improve security:

Safety visuals and guidance

Starting in the 2023 fall semester, new signs were displayed in all classrooms and high-traffic areas on campus with guidance of what to do in an emergency. Signs include the building name and room number for fast reference during a medical emergency or situational threat, such as an active shooter.

Yard signs, table tents and building signage with proactive safety tips and resources were created and are used during key times each year, including during Summer Priority Advising and Registration Kick-off (SPARK) and New Student Orientation.

Safety communication

By investing in a new platform to facilitate safety alerts, the university now offers parents and guardians the option to enroll in safety alert text messages, allowing them to receive the same notifications students, faculty and staff receive. Parents and guardians must re-enroll every year using their student’s valid MUID number.

Marquette launched a new university safety website in 2022 with comprehensive safety information and resources to make it easier for students, families, faculty and staff to navigate useful safety information online. This includes a detailed safety FAQ that addresses the most common questions shared with the Safety Task Force.

Important safety reminders, tips and resources are shared throughout each semester in Marquette Today and in university social media. Recent items include:

Safety infrastructure improvements

Marquette invested in improving and expanding its safety technology platforms:

  • Additional cameras and lights have been installed across campus.
  • After a successful summer pilot program, MUPD officers are using body cameras as an additional tool in documenting calls to service and evidence during investigations.
  • Changes to landscaping and environmental design help reduce potential of crime with better visibility and lighting.
  • The university’s facilities and public affairs units continue to work with city officials to repair inoperable public streetlights within the MUPD patrol zone.
  • Two mobile MUPD camera/light units were procured to deploy to areas of repeat crime within the MUPD patrol zone to support faster response and more effective investigations.
  • The university invested in a new safety communication platform that streamlines the safety alert operation, allowing multi-channel deployment and additional crisis response capabilities.

Encouraging community involvement 

Complex safety issues and community vitality rely on strong partnerships. Members of the Marquette community, including those who served on several task force workgroups, collaborate with neighborhood organizations to focus on crime prevention, community building, business development, resident well-being and public health.

Marquette works with the Near West Side Partners to offer student tours of the neighborhood, highlighting safety tips, local assets and points of interest, such as local restaurants. The tour has been integrated with student orientation efforts and Family Weekend.

Deterring crime through proactive resources

Through community involvement, MUPD resources help deter crime and encourage proactive safety measures:

  • new behavioral health unit of MUPD addresses mental health crises. The partnership between law enforcement and a civilian crisis worker allows police to proactively work with those in need of services who have, or could have, repeated contact with police.
  • Marquette worked with Near West Side Partners, Inc. to hire two more ambassadors for its NWSP Ambassadors program. MUPD was involved in the onboarding, and the two new ambassadors are currently working on outreach to local businesses. 
  • MUPD activated direct patrol missions to reduce the possibility of crime in specific areas.
  • MUPD offers steering wheel locks for students, faculty or staff who own Kia or Hyundai vehicles, which have been targeted in auto thefts across the Milwaukee area.