The UCF Police Department and Student Government Association have partnered to roll out several new emergency and crime prevention measures in time for the beginning of the fall semester.
Student Government shared some of their $20.4 million budget to support the establishment of a new police location inside of the Student Union and to add several safety features to the UCF Mobile app, according to a press release.
“We are proud partners and supporters of our campus police department,” said SGA President Kyler Gray in the press release. “I can think of no better way to unite our campus community and promote positive and helpful interaction between our students and our police officers.”
UCFPD’s Community Outreach Center is expected to open during the beginning weeks of the fall semester and will be located on the first floor next to the Pegasus Ballroom.
The new location aims to make UCFPD more accessible to the student body by positioning itself in the heart of the main campus. Open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, the new location will host four UCF police officers who specialize in campus outreach and safety education, according to the press release. Officers based inside of the Student Union will also respond to emergencies and reports of crime.
In addition to the new Community Outreach Center, students will have access to two new campus safety features now available on the UCF Mobile app, UCF Tips, and Safe Walk.
According to the press release, UCF Tips will allow students to digitally report issues such as suspicious activity, parking and housing issues, misconduct, and more to the appropriate office. Notably, the app also contains a link for students to report “hate/bias”. UCF Tips also allows students to attach photos and videos related to their report.
The new Safe Walk feature will allow students to share their location, destination, and estimated time of arrival with friends while they travel around campus. The selected friends can then monitor the student’s path in real-time and if anything arouses concern, the students can share the information with police. In order to use Safe Walk, students will need to additionally download the LiveSafe app.
The new safety initiatives arrive in wake of news that both violent and property crimes are down 21% as of 2018, according to the press release.
“I am proud of the work UCFPD does every day to push the number of crimes down using the technology, intelligence and good old-fashioned police work available to us,” UCF Police Chief Carl Metzger said in a press release. “The numbers demonstrate that when those in our community see something and say something, UCFPD will do something.”