UHPD optimistic about campus crime this year
Coming into a semester that promised more students and potentially more issues than previous years, UH police were expecting a certain measure of chaos during the first two weeks of the fall semester.
Instead, they have experienced a more peaceful campus than ever before, to the point where UH Police Chief Malcolm Davis can even joke about job security worries.
“This has been amazing,” Davis said.
“We have more students faculty and staff than ever — it should be an absolute zoo — but everyone’s taking it in stride.”
Davis said that police have seen more smiles and a better general attitude among students, despite bigger crowds and parking issues.
Throughout his 28 years serving on campus, Davis said that this has been the smoothest start to a semester he has ever experienced.
“This is the best semester,” Davis said. “It’s absolutely wonderful. We all got the results we wanted.”
Economics senior Karl Palmberg has also noticed a safer, more positive atmosphere around campus.
“Honestly, police are doing a pretty good job,” Palmberg said. “There’s a lot of people who enrolled, but the attitude’s pretty good so far.”
Davis said that in addition to the parking lot security kiosks initiative, police have not altered their daily operations this year as opposed to previous semesters.
They have yet to pinpoint what exactly made these opening weeks such a success.
According to Davis, police have yet to hear about any serious campus crime. However he says that the most common issue police hear about is theft. He advises students to remember to properly secure their vehicles and possessions.
Palmberg, who is entering his third year at UH, works at the MD Anderson Library and echoed Davis’ sentiment.
“Stuff gets swiped from there all the time, just from people getting up and leaving,” Palmberg said. “There isn’t much police can do about that though.”
This semester, UH has also brought in an increased number of freshmen and transfer students.
Davis said that because many of these students have just left for the first time, they can be easy targets for criminals.
“Freshmen mainly get caught in dorms,” Davis said. “They need to remember to lock their dorm rooms. For commuters, you take valuables or leave in the trunk.”
Davis also mentioned that general apathy and student detachment is another issue contributing to crime, and advises all students to stay aware.
“Some people walk around totally oblivious to things around them,” Davis said.
“It’s a matter of education, be cognizant of what goes around you.”