Campus crimes drop to second lowest rate in a decade; down 34 percent since 1999

The number of reported crimes, overwhelmingly nonviolent, at KU dipped slightly in 2009 and is the second lowest annual tally reported in the past decade, the KU Public Safety Office has reported.

Overall, reported crime is down 34 percent since 1999, thanks largely to increased police patrol, camera surveillance and educational efforts to encourage students and staff to take precautions to avoid being a victim of crime.

“We advise students to take precautions whether they are on campus or in the community and be aware of their surroundings” said Public Safety Director Ralph V. Oliver.

Students should also take advantage of services available to them, such as SafeRide and SafeBus. Students also are advised not to walk alone or take unfamiliar shortcuts when walking.

The 717 reported crimes in 2009 were down from 723 in 2008. KU averages 1.4 robbery reports annually, ranging from one in 2008 to eight in 2009, which was the highest level since 1998. However, three of the 2009 cases spawned from a single event at McCollum Hall in which a suspect took items from three rooms. In two of the other cases, suspects have been apprehended. One of the incidents was later determined through police investigation to have occurred off campus, contrary to the initial report.

The KU Public Safety Office maintains service 24 hours a day for the protection of the Lawrence campus. Commissioned police officers patrol the campus using a variety of transportation, which includes marked and unmarked patrol cars, Segway personal transporters and foot patrol.

Uniformed security officers work overnight and weekends securing doors in various academic buildings and reporting any maintenance or safety problems they encounter. The Public Safety Office employs students as security monitors who monitor the security cameras, assist in the libraries overnight and provide assistance during sporting events.

The Public Safety Office also operates an emergency 911 center. The 78 emergency phones located throughout campus are directly connected to this center. The center answers calls for police, fire and medical service on the Lawrence campus.

A full listing of all offenses reported for 1999 to 2009 can be found at the department’s Web site,

Campus closeup
Amanda Schwegler, assistant director, Center for Service Learning
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