In response to numerous assaults and robberies, some armed, that occurred in LXR and Henle at the end of last school year, Department of Public Safety officers are now armed with batons and pepper spray. The University has also installed louder door alarms in East Campus and replaced the doors in Henle.
These changes and other planned improvements are intended to create a “community-policing relationship” where DPS officers “are more engaged with students,” according to newly-appointed DPS Director Jeffrey Van Slyke.
“Officers have been requesting this equipment for years,” Vice President for University Safety Rocco DelMonaco said. “It gives them a way of defending themselves and others.”
In an attempt to expand its presence beyond its office in Village C, DelMonaco said, DPS has added an outpost in LXR and patrols the campus on bikes.
“We’re in a foot-beat centric location, which is not conducive to patrol by car,” DelMonaco said.
DPS will begin assigning officers to work specific areas of campus to try to build a closer working relationship with residents and staff.
“We want to minimize the ‘us vs. them’ mentality,” Van Slyke said. “We want students to see officers as more than just a badge.”