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 Tuesday, August 26, 2008 IssueFaculty/Staff E-Newsletter

IN THE SPOTLIGHT


Campus safety an integral part of our community
by Corey H. Jones, senior, School of Journalism and Mass Communication
 

All campus community members play a vital role in helping to ensure that the campus is a safe place to learn, work and live. CU-Boulder has established its own strategic plan with the goal of supporting the university’s “Total Learning Environment" objective to ensure that people feel safe and secure on our campus. The plan incorporates a number of fundamental values and guiding principles to promote safety awareness and proper risk management. “Campuses are usually very amenable to proactive public safety work,” said CU Police Chief Joe Roy.

Key services and programs intended to help maintain a safe campus environment include around-the-clock emergency response capabilities, lab inspections and lab safety training, pre-employment background investigation services, the Committee on Personal Safety and the University Police Department.

Commissioned by the state of Colorado and the city of Boulder, the university’s full-service police department includes 40 full-time officers who respond to all reports of criminal acts and emergencies that occur on campus and at other university properties. The UPD maintains a close working relationship with the City of Boulder Police Department.

Guidelines regarding how and when to report a crime are provided at new student orientations and in the campus telephone directory. Anyone can use campus emergency telephones to report crimes in progress, suspicious persons, medical emergencies or concerns about personal safety. Emergency signs and nighttime marker lights identify the telephones, which are situated in strategic outdoor locations around campus. The UPD also offers free personal safety alert whistles.

“We work hard to help people understand the best ways to protect themselves,” Roy said.

In light of violent acts that have occurred at various campuses across the country, the UPD stresses the importance of emergency response planning. “We put more focus on training and preparedness in certain areas that police departments generally didn’t years ago, and we will continue to work on those tasks,” said Roy.

The university employs various means of alerting the campus community with detailed campus closure and emergency information as well as other updates. Current communication systems for emergencies include email, the CUConnect portal and CU Alert, a text-messaging service available via mobile phone.

There are a number of additional personal safety resources, including Wardenburg Health Center, Counseling and Psychological Services, the Office of Victim Assistance and services such as NightRide. The public safety department also offers free safety information including seminar programs, crime prevention pamphlets and resource guides.

“This institution takes the matter of safety very seriously and it goes beyond just the police department,” Roy said. “There are people and committees working in a lot of different areas to enhance safety and to support a safe campus environment.”

One of these is the Emergency Management Operations Group, or EMOG. CU-Boulder's EMOG conducts training exercises for emergency planning throughout the year and participates in exercises conducted by the city of Boulder, Boulder County and the state. Should an emergency occur, they coordinate to execute a plan of action with the Policy Group, which provides administrative support during campus emergencies and includes the chancellor and vice chancellors.

Faculty and staff can do their part by directing students to acquaint themselves with the various campus safety services and protocols. “The most important thing is for students to educate themselves on the safety options and resources they have at CU,” said Roy. “Part of the process of transitioning from living with family to living on your own is that you become more responsible for your personal safety, and we like to encourage students to start thinking about that as soon as they get here.”

For more information, visit CU-Boulder's campus safety and emergency services website.

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