Arts & CultureCrime

Curbing crime

FBI statistics released June 1 concluded that even as it declined overall in other parts of the country, including Oregon’s four largest cities, crime rose in Eugene last year. Incidents increased in every category, including violent crimes, forcible rape, aggravated assault and property crimes.

All the more reason for students to play it safe during the school year.

Although areas surrounding campus, particularly the West University neighborhood, are notorious for home break-ins, incidents outside the home are not exactly rare. At the end of the spring 2009 academic term, for instance, three women were kidnapped in separate incidents and forced to remove money from ATMs. The incidents occurred throughout one week before Eugene police arrested two male suspects.

Students can heed the advice of parents and police by equipping with pepper spray and taking self-defense lessons, but there are also some campus resources in place to promote safety.

Designated Driver Shuttle and Assault Prevention Shuttle

These programs offer night-time rides to students, free of charge – just don’t forget to leave a tip. Both student-operated programs, the Designated Driver Shuttle takes students home from parties, bars or wherever on a no-questions-asked basis, while the Assault Prevention Shuttle offers rides to students, faculty and staff who feel unsafe walking at night. It’s best to call for a shuttle about 30 minutes before it’s needed; both DDS and APS get swamped with calls on the weekends, and weeknights can be busy, too. These programs are funded by student incidental fees, which fund ASUO programs, so even though rides are technically free, all enrolled students pay a fee to support DDS and APS.

DDS phone: (541) 346-RIDE, ext. 1 Hours: 10 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. APS phone: (541) 346-RIDE, ext. 2 Fall/winter hours: Sun-Thurs, 6 p.m. to midnight; Fri-Sat, 6 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Emergency Call Boxes

There are more than 80 of these emergency notification posts stationed inside and outside around campus. Outdoors, an emergency call box consists of a yellow post with “EMERGENCY” written down the front and a translucent blue box that sits atop the post. The boxes inside buildings consist of a smaller square, without the blue light. A large red button activates the box, which then connects to DPS dispatch. Watch Commander Clark Hansen said the vast majority of calls are false alarms, but an officer reports to the scene when a box is activated, regardless of the incident. The call boxes are meant for use not only in emergency situations, but also if someone needs assistance from DPS.

The Department of Public Safety and Eugene Police Department

The University of Oregon Department of Public Safety is located on campus and has officers working every day of the year. DPS also partners with the Eugene Police Department, which assigns a sergeant and patrol team to aid DPS on campus. The department hands out parking tickets and responds to campus emergency situations. DPS also handles bicycle registration, which is supposed to help recover stolen bicycles, and campus parking permits for vehicles. Depending on available personnel, DPS sometimes provides safety escorts during evening and early-morning hours to students who feel unsafe departing from on-campus locations.

In March, Doug Tripp replaced Kevin Williams as director of DPS. The director’s boss, Vice President of Finance and Administration Frances Dyke, released no reasoning or details pertaining to the leadership shift, citing state confidentiality rules that protect personnel information. Williams, who had served as director since August 2007, became senior campus security planner in the Department of Campus Operations.

DPS office: Straub Hall, across from the Student Recreation Center Emergency dispatch: (541) 346-6666 Non-emergency dispatch: (541) 346-2919 EPD West University Station office: Located at E. 13th Avenue and Alder Street Phone: (541) 682-8350

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