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WSU Provides Open Communication of Crime and Safety with Students

By Kailey Howell

Wayne State University

Wayne State University aims to keep an open communication with students on crime and safety on campus. In partner with the WSU Police Department, students are alerted of crimes and safety concerns.

Colleen Elsbernd is a social work student at WSU who lives in an apartment off campus.

She says, “I transferred here from another university. The reason I did not attend WSU after high school was because I was concerned about the relative safety level as opposed to the other school.”  

WSU’s 2017 Annual Security and Fire Safety Report states, “[S]afety is our top priority; we cannot accomplish it alone. At Wayne State, we use a community approach to law enforcement, recognizing that strong partnerships between police and the campus community enable us to do the best possible job of protecting people and property.”

Elsbernd says, “On campus, I feel very safe. It's when I’m far from campus and alone is when I do not feel safe.” .

WSU freshman Kira O’Steen says, “I've never felt unsafe on campus before because on every block I'm sure I've seen a police officer or security just patrolling which is nice and reassuring,”

The report also states there has been an increase in reported burglaries on main campus and in student housing since 2015.

Simultaneously WSUPD is addressing the concern of student’s awareness of crimes by sending out “Timely Warnings.” Timely Warnings are sent through email automatically to students from WSUPD on “certain crimes that pose a threat to the safety of the campus community.”

O’Steen says, “When WSU sends me crime alerts I gaze over them but I'm not alarmed considering it just tells me what happened and that they solved the situation.”

The report states that. in instances of “an active shooter, bomb threat, gas leak, tornado, or similar situations,” WSUPD sends Emergency Notifications by “text message, email and other means to all students, faculty and staff.”

Elsbernd says, “I read all crime reports and I think they are good how they are. Perhaps if they were more detailed that could be helpful.”

Crime and safety information is not only available to students by WSUPD, but also through the University’s newspaper, The South End.

Mike Tokarz, multimedia editor for The South End states, “In nearly every, if not every print issue, we include a story from the WSUPD that talks about staying safe on campus and ways to avoid being a victim. Outside of that reports are shared as we see fit or necessary for students to know.”

In addition to this, students can sign up to receive the Timely Warnings from WSUPD by text message as well as email. This can be done by going to computing.wayne.edu/broadcast and signing up for the Broadcast Messaging Service.

In addition to facts about the crime and its solution, the report states, “Each notice provides crime prevention tips and other useful information.”

Elsbernd says “I tend to not leave my items unattended, I do not typically walk alone late at night, and if it is necessary, I talk to someone on the phone so they know where I am if anything were to happen.”

She says “When it is dark, that is when I try to be more aware of my surroundings. I make sure I make eye contact with everyone I pass by, I do not have my phone out, and I look around me to make sure I'm aware of my surroundings.”

            O’Steen lives on campus in the Towers dorms. She states, “I always try to make sure I'm as alert as possible since I take a bus to school. For me, it's being aware of my surroundings and looking for anything or anyone that may be suspicious.”

            The 2017 Annual Security and Fire Safety Report also provides additional information on the services provided by WSUPD to ensure students safety on campus. An example of this is the SafeWalk Program.

            According to the report, if a student is walking alone on campus and feels unsafe, they can call WSUPD at 313-577-2222 and “the police will dispatch a uniformed and radio-equipped cadet or patrol officer to walk with the individual to his or her destination.”

            Tokarz states, “Trying to get my family on board with the idea that going to school in Detroit was safe. Knowing we have one of the safest campuses in the state really helped get my family on board with me going here.”

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Source List:

Wayne State University’s 2017 Annual Security and Fire Safety Report

Colleen Elsbernd. Colleen is a social work student at WSU. (734)-673-5659

Kira O’Steen, Kira is a freshman at WSU. gh3527@wayne.edu

Mike Tokarz. Mike is the multimedia director of The South End. michael.tokarz2@wayne.edu

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© 2020 by Kailey Howell

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