September 26, 2014

2014 Fall Safety Update

To: The Campus Community
From: Marlon C. Lynch, Associate Vice President for Safety, Security, and Civic Affairs & Chief of Police
Date: September 26, 2014

As the new academic year gets underway, I would like to take this opportunity to share some of the ways we are working to help you stay safe, and make you aware of the safety resources available to you.

If you are new to Hyde Park, you are joining an exciting community. Hyde Park also continues to be one of the safest neighborhoods in the city, and in 2013, incidents of violent crime were at an all-time low in the University of Chicago Police Department’s patrol area. At the same time, it is critical for all of us to remember that we live in a large, complex urban setting. We need to be aware of our surroundings and use common sense as we go about our daily lives.

One of our most effective safety tools is the University’s Transportation program. We urge you to consider using University shuttle buses or municipal mass transit, especially if you are traveling at night. Please visit bus.uchicago.edu for more information on the University’s shuttle program.

Staying informed also enhances safety. The University uses these tools to communicate important safety-related information:

  • For life-threatening emergencies, a system called cAlert warns every member of the campus community with automated emails, text messages, calls to landlines and cell phones, and pager alerts. To ensure that these critical messages reach you, please log onto calert.uchicago.edu to check the accuracy of your information on file and enroll the devices most likely to reach you.
  • For crimes that present a specific threat but do not require immediate action, the University sends out an all-campus email known as a security alert. Learn about the guidelines established for security alerts by a presidential committee.
  • For those who want to track crime and police activity throughout the UCPD’s patrol area, a log is posted each day at incidentreports.uchicago.edu. You can also subscribe to receive the log through a RSS feed and check crime statistics for our area.

Please take a few moments to see more resources and important safety tips.

Finally, I would like to let you know that the University of Chicago Police Department is now accredited through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies. Commission representatives visited campus in the spring to review and assess the UCPD’s policies and procedures and determined that we met the professional standards and best practices required for accreditation. This achievement could not have been earned without the dedication and hard work put forth by the members of the department and the invaluable support of our partners throughout the University and in the communities we serve.

I wish you a safe and productive year.