UH police chief advises students on campus safety
The numbers recently released in the Clery Report reflect a trend of less crime on the UH campus, but there is still room for improvement when it comes to campus safety — and the responsibility falls on the UHDPS and
student community’s ability to work together.
UHDPS Chief of Police Malcolm Davis believes that the two most important factors for the two parties to be successful in making UH a safer campus are “communication and agreeing to disagree.”
“It’s a matter of understanding what is the thing that we have in common,” Davis said in a communication class Monday. “You want to go to school here; to do that you have to feel safe. It’s our job to make it safe — not only feel safe, but for it to actually be safe — and the only way we can do that is working together, so we have to put aside differences.”
The most rampant problem on campus is crimes of opportunity; crimes which are not premeditated, but where criminals take advantage of a situation. Davis said that one of the ways to reduce these crimes is to increase the visibility of police officers and security.
“If you’re here to do something nefarious, you see that it might be a cop, so you go someplace else,” he said.
The UHDPS has added 32 security officer positions this semester and also improved the nighttime visibility of their uniforms.
“We want the perception to be that there are lots of cops, lots of security. We have some of the four-wheel carts now that some of the officers are driving,” Davis said. “They have blinking yellow lights on them, and we’re working to get those on all of the carts.”
In addition to the police adding more eyes to watch out for students, students should be on the lookout as well. Preventing crimes of opportunity can be as easy as not leaving a laptop unattended in the library or leaving a purse out in a car.
Davis said he believes that the campus will continue to become a safer place as both law enforcement and students work together to make it that way.
“It has to be cooperation, it has to be working together, because we need to understand what the big picture is,” Davis said. “The big picture is having a safe place where anybody can come with legitimate purposes to study, to play sports or whatever it is they are doing.”