by Geoff Larcom, Published November 15, 2013
YPSILANTI – Eastern Michigan University will hire four additional full-time police officers by mid-January 2014 to support expanded off-campus patrols.
EMU Chief of Police Bob Heighes said, “The additional officers will allow us to fully maintain the effective safety operations we have in place on Eastern’s campus at the same high level they are at today, while bringing additional resources to support the expanded off-campus patrols.”
Last month, the University committed two officers to patrolling the LeForge Road area north of campus in collaboration with the Ypsilanti Police Department, which assigned one officer to the expanded patrols, and the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Department, which assigned two officers, one of which is paid for by Ypsilanti Township. Once the new officers are trained, Eastern will have increased its commitment to support off-campus patrols by six officers.
Eastern Michigan University police officers are professional, fully sworn police officers. They have always patrolled in the immediate perimeter areas of campus and in the areas surrounding the College of Business campus on Michigan Avenue and the Eagle Crest Corporate Education Center and Eagle Crest Golf Course.
The increase in police staffing is the latest of many safety efforts that have been implemented to ensure Eastern remains one of the safest campuses among Michigan public universities, as reflected by comparative safety data (www.emich.edu/safetycomparison). Eastern’s overall campus safety efforts include the deployment of more than 30 fully trained and licensed professional police officers, 24 hours a day/seven days a week operations, 500 security cameras that blanket campus, SEEUS campus escorts, and a variety of other safety measures.
Recent measures to enhance safety include:
• Expanding police patrols in the LeForge Road area north of campus, in collaboration with Ypsilanti Police, the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Department and Ypsilanti Township.
• Expanding the hours of the SEEUS campus escort service, which provides services to students, faculty and staff on campus after dark and overnight. The mobile service has been extended to operate from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. (previously 3 a.m.) seven days a week.
• Increasing private security efforts around EMU residence halls and academic buildings.
• Working with private apartments in the area to press for further safety measures in those complexes. Adding surveillance cameras, emergency call stations, installing better security systems and door locks, organizing a neighborhood watch program, and expanding shuttle service for residents into the evening hours are among the actions being pursued.
• Establishing additional informational resources for students considering living off campus. This includes a new website with a safety checklist that renters should ask of landlords; a list and links to EMU public safety resources; geographically-focused online crime mapping links for Eastern Michigan University and the city of Ypsilanti, as well as the city of Ann Arbor; links to bus and transportation schedules; links to renter's guides and other tenant resources; and housing reviews and ratings provided by outside organizations. Additionally, landlords who want to participate in an annual off-campus housing fair must complete a safety checklist that notes the various measures in place at their apartment complex.