Campus Police safety measures, services grow after incidents
Since fall 2010, University of Wisconsin-Platteville Police Department has increased their measures to protect the safety of students.
“Safewalk was headborn out of the racial incidents that happened,” Police Chief Scott Marquardt said.
Since then, campus police found safewalk wasn’t used by many students, Marquardt said. They converged the safewalk duties with a security function last year. Now, safewalk workers lock buildings in addition to their late-night escort duties.
“It’s worked well so far,” Marquardt said. “I think it is a better investment for our money.”
There are about six safewalk students working from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. Tuesday through Saturday night. Campus officers take on the safewalk duties on Monday and Sunday nights.
Another tool the department uses to protect students is the Pioneer Alert system. An e-mail and text message will be sent to students and faculty who register their number in PASS.
Campus police sent out an alert when the attack occured near the bridge by Bridgeway Commoms in September.
“Whenever an incident happens on campus, we are required by law to give a timely alert,” Marquardt said.
Incase something happens to a student when walking alone at night, emergency call boxes are scattered around campus. They are connected to the police officers radio, so the students can talk to a police officer directly. The officers get the location of the call box on the screen of their radio, so that they can respond to the student as needed.
Students can deter attackers by walking in pairs, using the night walk service and staying on the lighted sidewalks, Marquardt said.
Preventing domestic violence
The department is required by law to gather domestic violence statistics under the 1994 Violence Against Women act.
“(Domestic Violence) is one of the issues I can virtually guarantee happens here,” Marquardt said. “It is so under reported that it is hard to know how often it occurs.”
Under the domestic violence statutes, Police officers may make an arrest in a domestic violence occurence if the couple is married, or if they are unmarried and there is a child living with them, Marquardt said.
In any incident, officers try to provide as much resource info as they can, Marquardt said.
“We want to be deliberate in getting resources to people,” Marquardt said.