The Public Safety Department, Residence Life and Student Affairs partnered together and developed a "Community Policing Program" to address incidents in the resident halls. This pilot program focuses on strategies to help prevent crime, reduce the fear of crime and improve the quality of life in the residence halls.
For the past two months, Public Safety officers and Residence Life staff have been patrolling the resident halls in a joint effort to bring about better relations among everyone involved: police officers, resident assistants and students. The patrols are conducted in common areas of the residence halls. Officers do not enter individual rooms, suites or apartments unless asked to do so by the Resident Assistant or Area Coordinator, or when they deem a situation that warrants such action. The privacy of residents is respected.
Community policing allows Public Safety officers to integrate into the fabric of the campus and the residence hall community in such a way that the students come to the police for counsel before a serious problem arises, not after the fact. Problems of disorder and neglect are addressed, unacceptable behaviors are discouraged and crime is prevented. It is our belief that the increased presence of uniformed Public Safety officers and Residence Life staff engaged in community policing during hours of high activity deters students from engaging in behaviors that are inappropriate and damaging to the residential community.
Since the pilot began in January of this year, the program has showed a dramatic decrease in the number of calls related to the resident halls. January's figures decreased 17% and February’s 62% compared to the same months last year. It appears to be successful. The program will be evaluated at the end of the semester and may become a permanent program at Robert Morris University.
The partnerships that this program has developed are the driving force for its success. The cooperation of the students and their desire to have a safe community is very important to us. Student safety is the number one concern in the "Community Policing Program".
Article Submitted by:
Randy L. Mink
Director of Public Safety
Chief of Police