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The CU Police Department has released its annual Security and Fire Safety Report to provide students, faculty and staff with a sense of the campus climate regarding crime.
The report is designed to teach students and faculty to become more aware of their surroundings, prevent crime and report suspicious incidents to the police.
CUPD Commander Robert Axmacher said that the report is mandatory and serves as a resource to keep people informed.
“It [report] is required by the Clery Act,” Axmacher said. “When a student was murdered at Lehigh University, the parents got federal legislation passed to require colleges to issue annual safety reports. That way people can be informed of the crime on campus.”
Axmacher said CUPD promotes safety among students via alert system in case of a major incident.
“We are encouraging students to be aware of their surroundings every day of the year,” Axmacher said. “Making sure everyone is signed up for the alert system is crucial. It sends out messages in case of major events.”
In addition to text message alerts, students can also stay informed by looking at police blotters.
“The blotter displays summons, arrests and crime reports,” Axmacher said. “We really encourage people to be aware.”
Besides being aware, other methods are in place to keep students, faculty and staff safe.
“There is a Campus Safety 101 video on our website,” Axmacher said. “We like to focus on property crime since it accounts for the majority of campus crime. Most of the time burglaries are people going into unlocked office or residence halls and taking unsecured items.”
When it comes to crime on campus, Axmacher says most cases are preventable.
“Crime happens here like anywhere else, but most of the crimes we see are preventable,” Axmacher said.
Axmacher also said crime prevention comes in many forms.
“For property crimes, be sure to lock everything,” Axmacher said. “In terms of personal safety, drugs and alcohol reduce the ability to perceive our environment. This could put a student in higher risk of danger.”
According to the safety report, 42 counts of burglary and five counts of robbery were reported in 2011. Pedestrian safety on campus is also considered an area of high risk and high concern.
“Pedestrian safety is a concern on campus because there are over 40,000 people sharing a small space on foot, skateboards and bikes,” Axmacher said.
Axmacher said the amount of people moving about on campus makes following the rules important, regardless of the method of transportation.
“Bicyclists must yield for pedestrians in the crosswalks,” Axmacher said. “Pedestrians should cross streets at the crosswalks, and skateboarders cannot skateboard on the street.”
During the evening, visibility is an important factor in safety, especially for bicyclists.
“Many people ride bikes without a light at night, so the Lighten Up Boulder campaign is offering discounted bike lights,” Axmacher said.
Safety is an important aspect of the college experience, so while out having fun, remember to be aware and stay safe.
Additional resources for students on campus include: Students of Concern Committee, Wardenberg and the Office of Victim Assistance.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Roxanne Smith at Roxanne.firstname.lastname@example.org.