Guardian Helps Howard University Reduce Crime by 70%
Chief Leroy K. James of HUPD said that he is proud of the job that Campus Police did during the storm and throughout the semester. “Fortunately for us, we didn’t have many incidents of crime during the blizzard,” James said. “We did not have any calls for crime over the blizzard, but more so emergency management.”
James and his officers not only helped students and faculty to travel safely despite hazardous condition but also delivered food to dorms such as Meridian Hill Hall for students that could not travel to the main campus to eat.
James is pleased with an overall decrease in crime since the start of the spring semester. Since Jan. 1, 2010, crime on-campus has gone down 70 percent in comparison to last year. “A reduction in crime has never occurred before,” he said. “ I think most of it comes from students, faculty and staff being more aware of their surroundings.”
James attributes most of the decrease to the recently installed blue-light system, the Rave Guardian service [Sign up for the March 8th Guardian Webinar] and the AlertHU system, which has kept students more aware of their safety. The AlertHU system was used extensively during the blizzard to inform students about school cancellations and weather updates. “Before I came here, we didn’t have an alert system as robust as we have now,” James said. “And if we did have one, it was not as effective as this one has been.”
The system’s effectiveness was demonstrated again yesterday when a message went out to notify the students and faculty that the Howard University Service Center was being evacuated after a suspicious letter with strange handwriting was found in the mail room of the Service Center. “We took immediate action,” James said. “I was actually sending out AlertHU messages in my truck through my computer.”
HUPD plans to push more crime prevention activities prior to Spring Break to encourage students to still keep their safety at the forefront. James said that Howard University should be proud of the progress that is being made in terms of safety. “We are doing great in terms of crime [prevention],” he said. “We’re blessed. I really thank the students.”