April 30, 2013

2013 Spring Safety Update

To: The Campus community
From: Marlon C. Lynch, Associate Vice President for Safety & Security and Chief of Police
Date: April 30, 2013 

I am writing to update you on progress in reducing crime on campus and in our surrounding communities, efforts to improve further, and steps we all need to take to keep ourselves safe.

Violent crime in the Hyde Park-South Kenwood community is down 33 percent from last year, and has declined 46 percent when compared to the five-year average for this period.  We are pleased to report that 2012 was the second lowest all time violent crime year for the campus police patrol area. At the same time, it is important to remember that spring typically brings an increase in criminal activity. As we spend more time out of doors, we must be aware of our surroundings at all times.

In light of recent events, we have increased patrols on and around campus. You may notice additional police officers or security personnel, identified by their dark navy blue jackets with "University of Chicago Security" on the back of the jacket.

We urge you to take a few familiar steps that make a big difference in staying safe:

  • When walking around campus and in the neighborhood, walk in groups and stay alert, especially at night
  • Avoid using cell phones, iPods and headphones while walking, or displaying items that might be attractive to a criminal
  • Use public transportation:  free bus service, NightRide Shuttles and umbrella service are available to help you travel safely around the campus community
  • Don’t hesitate to alert a police officer of security guard if you see suspicious behavior or items

You may have received a cAlert notification on April 18 related to road closures as a result of flooding. The cAlert emergency notification system allows us to contact each of you by email, cell phone, office phone and text message in case of a life-threatening situation on campus.  To insure that we have the most up-to-date and effective contact information to reach you in an emergency, please go to calert.uchicago.edu to verify the information we have on file for you.

We continue to be dedicated to maintaining a safe and secure campus environment, and we appreciate your help in our efforts to further reduce crime in our community.  If you have specific concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.  I wish you a safe and productive spring.