TUPD implements increased safety measures on campus


Colin Yaccarino | Photo Editor

TUPD installed additional lighting as part of this semester’s campus safety initiative.

In light of growing concern from the Tulane community about its members’ safety, students have called for improved security on campus. Now Tulane University Police Department is implementing security measures intended to reflect this priority by increasing security presence on Tulane’s New Orleans campuses.

Initiatives include an increase in the foot and bicycle patrol units, increased security in residence halls, a new Tulane University Police Department station at the Downtown campus and the establishment of a Campus Security Committee. TUPD has also added new security cameras and improved lighting on campus.

Captain Roger Barnes, TUPD patrol commander of the Uptown campus, said he believes the changes are a significant step in the right direction.

“[The] overall increase in security presence is designed to deter criminal activity, enhance the level of security provided by our contract services and provide extra eyes and ears throughout the Tulane Community,” Barnes said.

TUPD has been working closely with both Housing and Residence Life and Allied Universal Security Services, to design and implement these new security measures. Allied Security, which recently contracted with Tulane, will also provide additional manpower to help patrol Tulane’s campuses.

For many students, the most visible increase in security presence is in residence halls. Each night from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., security officers join Desk Services Coordinators in residence halls on campus. The officers are trained to respond to emergency situations for which DSCs may not be adequately prepared.

According to HRL Director Tim Lempfert, the security officers will eventually replace the DSCs during overnight hours, which will eliminate DSCs’ “graveyard” shifts from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.

“Moving toward professional security staff and away from the use of student staff in the overnight hours is more beneficial to both residents and our student staff,” Lempfert said.

Additionally, HRL has begun operating under a new schedule and structure. The Katherine and William Mayer Residences and Warren Residence House front desks have been closed. Other desks, including those at Patterson House, Monroe Hall and Josephine Louise Hall, are now only open from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. During the day, 24-hour desks, such as those at the Lallage Feazel Wall Residential College and Weatherhead Hall, serve multiple dorms in their immediate vicinity.

The new security officers and the closure of certain desks will reduce the number of DSCs that are hired and limit the number of hours current DSCs work each week.

Another new safety feature requires students to fill out an online form before they can obtain a lockout code, temporary card or loaner key from a DSC. This measure ensures the information is logged and students are charged.

Nevertheless, President Michael Fitts believes all Tulane community members play a role in keeping the campus safe. In a special message on campus security issued last Friday, he warned students to remain cautious in spite of the increased security presence.

“Please don’t walk alone at night, and please be aware that incapacitating yourself with alcohol or drugs makes you far more vulnerable to crime,” Fitts wrote. “Sometimes we see increased criminal activity in the first few weeks of school, so I hope that you’ll be particularly vigilant.”

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