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Monday, September 27, 2021

Crime

Chief to fixate on security, parking


UH Department of Public Safety Police Chief Malcolm Davis said students and faculty need to be the department’s eyes and ears Tuesday at a safety and security town hall meeting.

Davis said community interaction is necessary because there is only one officer for every 300 students.

“The main thing I hope it accomplishes is that people realize that safety on campus is not just public safety’s responsibility. It’s everybody’s,” Davis said. “There’s 140 of us and over 40,000 of students and faculty.”

Davis said that reporting crimes is necessary to ensure a safe environment. In the event that the victim of a crime does not report the offense, Davis called this “when a crime is not a crime.

“You hear that colleges don’t report all the crime on campus. We report all the crime we’re told about,” Davis said. “You can’t come forward and say, ‘By the way, my roommate was a victim of a crime.’ I can’t report it unless the roommate comes forward and says they were a victim.”

Davis said UHDPS is not only a police department, but also a department of public safety that provides security, parking enforcement and firefighting. He added that UHDPS is a broker of information for the University because, although it might not be able to fix a plumbing or maintenance problem, it can contact the personnel needed to correct those issues.

“If you need help, don’t just look for a cop. Look for someone in a high visibility uniform,” Davis said. “We’re all in the same department. We all have the same radio. It doesn’t have to be crime related”

The department’s future endeavors, Davis said, include placing security kiosks in active areas around the University. If approved, the kiosks would feature an elevated space for security personnel to stand guard.

“If people are going to try and victimize the campus, this will help the security identify themselves,” Davis said.

UHDPS also hopes the University will approve more surveillance around campus. The system in place today boasts approximately 560 cameras.

Davis said the department is open to new ideas. Those with suggestions are encouraged to contact UHDPS at uh.edu/police.

The town hall meeting also highlighted tables that informed citizens of drug awareness, the risks of drunk driving, the department’s rape aggression defense class, parking enforcement and fire hazards.

Members of the UH fire department were also present at the meeting and said the biggest fire hazards lie in residential areas.

University personnel also urged attendees to use caution with electrical outlets and microwaves. They said creating makeshift sleep areas in the library or resting in a classroom violates campus policy.

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