UH Police combine two campus activities to encourage student participation, ensure safety

The UH Department of Public Safety will be combining two of its annual programs next month in an effort to make the UH community feel safe and comfortable on campus.

The department will host its National Night Out event as planned, but will make an even greater effort to make the program a success by combining it with another annual program, Walk in the Dark.

“By combining both these programs on the same night we expect a much larger crowd,” Lt. Richard Brenner said.

“Within our eight residential communities, we house approximately 6,400 students; for them this is their home away from home, so we invite them to join UHDPS and celebrate with their 6,000-plus neighbors,” Brenner said.

The national event is traditionally held in August, but due to the Texas heat and lack of students on campus at that time, the organization has allowed the state to hold its programs on the first Tuesday of October instead.

“This change boded well for us,” Brenner said. “While we have sponsored the event for many years, the turnout wasn’t quite what we wanted.”

WITD will follow the NNO festivities and allow students to walk through campus with DPS representatives and point out parts of campus that make them feel unsafe.

“Simply adding darkness to an environment in which a person normally feels safe has an amazing effect on a person’s perception,” Brenner said.

NNO is designed to inform the community in a number of areas, including crime awareness and local anti-crime programs. In addition, it aims to strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships.

“(It also) sends a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back,” Brenner said.

“These events are not simply to make the UH community aware that crime, unfortunately, is everywhere, but they are meant more so to empower the community, letting them know that there are simple steps they can take as individuals to effectively diminish the opportunity for crime to occur.”

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