by Geoff Larcom, Published October 24, 2013
YPSILANTI - Eastern Michigan University and area police agencies have agreed to collaborate and immediately increase patrols in the Leforge Road area north of the EMU campus.
Beginning Friday (Oct. 25), the EMU Department of Public Safety, the Ypsilanti Police Department, Washtenaw County Sheriff's Department and Ypsilanti Township each will dedicate officers to begin specifically patrolling the area.
Assigned officers will meet at the EMU Department of Public Safety headquarters each night to coordinate their efforts, EMU Chief of Police Bob Heighes said.
"This collaboration is an important step in helping to ensure the safety and security of EMU students and others living in and visiting the area north of campus,” Heighes said. “We are gratified and appreciative to be working with the city, county and township in beginning this increased effort. Residents should quickly be aware and comforted by the increased police presence."
Ypsilanti Chief of Police Tony DeGiusti said, "The Ypsilanti Police Department is proud join our neighbors in this partnership. The increased police presence that we will be able to collectively provide will certainly increase the safety of our residents and students. However, everyone still needs to remain vigilant in their own personal safety by making good decisions and being involved. Please remember that if you see something suspicious or a crime occur to call the police immediately."
Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton said, "We are all concerned with the security of our neighborhoods and the safety of our residents, our students and the visitors to our community, particularly in light of the recent tragic events. However, I am confident in our ability as a community to come together and address these challenges."
Demarius Reed, an EMU student and varsity football player who lived at the University Green apartments, located on Green Road, off Leforge and a block from the EMU campus, was shot and killed Friday morning and later found in a hallway in the complex. Two weekend assaults that occurred in the Leforge Road area also spotlighted the need for increased patrols and collaboration by area law enforcement.
Heighes said that the cooperating departments will soon establish a working office in the area, which includes a variety of apartment complexes with a high proportion of EMU students.
EMU and the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Department will each dedicate two of their own officers to the joint effort, and Ypsilanti Police will dedicate one. One of the two officers provided by the Sheriff's Office is paid for by Ypsilanti Township. EMU has already begun increased patrolling in the area for visibility, Heighes said.
Heighes said the effect of the increased team patrols would be tracked and evaluated over the next few months and at the end of the year.
The University has also begun working aggressively with several area landlords in discussing further safety measures. Those plans, which presently include the University Green complex, and the adjacent Huron View Complex, could include steps such as adding security cameras, adding emergency call stations, organizing a neighborhood watch program and expanding shuttle hours into the night.
Also, the reward for information leading to helping solve the case of Reed’s death has been increased to $10,000. University Green is contributing $5,000, and Eastern Michigan University and Crime Stoppers are contributing $2,500 each to the reward fund.
Tips can be submitted anonymously by calling 1-800-SPEAK UP (1-800-773-2587), online at www.1800speakup.org, or via text to CRIMES (274637).
For further details on the Demarius Reed case and the variety of public safety updates and forums that have occurred at EMU this week, please visit the website at http://www.emich.edu/community-notice/