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Friday, August 19, 2022

Campus

Keeping a nocturnal eye open for UH’s Security Escorts


During the string of on-campus robberies in early October, the UH Department of Public Safety escort service experienced a higher volume of calls from students nervous of walking to their cars or dorms alone.

UHDPS provides security or police officers to escort individuals safely to their campus destinations, regardless of the reason for the call.

“We generally see the number of requests increase following a security alert, both because of the raised awareness of personal safety, and the increased awareness of the security escort program, which is often mentioned in the alerts,” said UHDPS Chief of Staff Lt. Bret Collier.

Collier said the average wait for an escort since the beginning of 2012 is five minutes. This will vary based on time, day of the week, the semester, weather and several other factors that may affect call volume or response time.

UHDPS has experienced a total of 4,505 requests in 2012 — 4,290 were successfully completed, 147 were cancelled by the requester and 68 were gone or unable to be reached when the officer arrived, Collier said.

“That’s 95 percent completed, 3 percent cancelled and 2 percent gone on arrival, or unable to locate,” Collier said. “I’m unaware of a student ever being a victim of a crime during a security escort.”

The escort service provides walking security or police escorts in addition to the use of carts and vehicles, depending on the distance. Its goal is to ensure the safety of students, regardless of the method of travel, Collier said.

Users of the system who fail to respond to the escort’s calls when they’ve arrived for pick-up may need to call back.

“(How long an escort waits) depends on other calls that may be holding and other factors, but if an officer needs to go to another call because the requester can’t be reached, the requester can certainly feel free to call us back to make another request,” Collier said.

Psychology senior Trenshae Gilbert, who was unaware of the service, said she wouldn’t use it after being informed about it, but that its existence may prove affective for other students.

“Even though I wouldn’t use it, because I’m not on campus in the evening, some students need to be aware of this service and use it. It’s a free service designed to get you somewhere safely, why not use it,” Gilbert said.

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