After seven robberies in the last two weeks near the University of Oregon campus, students are taking to social media to report even more incidents and to question why police aren’t sending out more alerts to warn people about the crime spree.
One of the complaints came from Taylor Holman, who on Thursday wrote on Twitter, “@UOPolice why aren’t there more UO alerts being sent out when robberies and attacks are continuing everyday?”
But University of Oregon Police Chief Matthew Carmichael said that none of the incidents being reported on social media since Tuesday have been reported to the police. He is urging students to notify police of any robbery or suspicious activity.
“I just want to urge UO students, please report,” Carmichael said. “If a friend shares something with you that happened, talk to the friend and say, ‘Hey, did you call the police?’”
UOPD spokesman Kelly McIver said that no robberies were reported to UOPD since Tuesday when a student filed a report of a mugging from the previous Sunday.
UOPD has increased the number of officers on patrol on campus and in near-campus areas, according to Carmichael’s official statement regarding the on- and off-campus crime on UOPD’s website.
Carmichael urged students to call UOPD if something happened on campus, and Eugene Police if something happens off campus. Or if a student feels more comfortable calling one or the other, either department is better than neither.
“I promise we’re working really hard to message out as much information as we can,” Carmichael said.
He said that students should always report to the police as soon as possible when something happens to them or anyone they know. He said he knows students are eager to feel safe on campus again.
“Students are getting frustrated and I hear it directly from students,” he said.
He said that even if nothing of value is taken from you, it is still vitally important to report an incident or anything suspicious that you may witness.
“You could be providing a description that matches other descriptions. There might be that little thing that you saw that someone else didn’t that could crack the case open,” he said.
How UOPD alerts students to crimes
UOPD has two methods of alerting students to crimes or emergencies: UO alerts and Campus Crime Alerts.
UO Alerts are texts and emails, used when an active situation is developing and there is an imminent danger to the public. Examples would be a fire, an explosion or an armed robbery that is very recent, according to McIver. UOPD only sent out one UO Alert during the rash of seven robberies in the past two weeks because it was a developing search for the suspect. The other six robberies were too old and there was no threat to the public when UOPD first heard about it, McIver said.
Campus Crime Alerts are emails that UOPD sends to student email addresses. These alerts are not as pressing, but UOPD sends them to students only to inform, but not to alert of a situation. Six of the seven robberies have been sent to students using Campus Crime Alerts because UOPD found out about them after they had already happened.
Increasing transportation resources
In response to the robberies, the shuttle has increased its hours to operating from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m., seven days a week.
There is also Safe Ride and the Designated Driver shuttle that students can use rather than walking home alone at night.
Carmichael explained that even if there weren’t robberies going on, it’s still important to walk in groups. “No UO student walks alone,” he said.
He said that anyone can use the UOregon smartphone app to track the UO campus shuttle location and find the pick-up spot closest to them.
Students are urged to call 9-1-1 in case of an emergency, or the Eugene Police Department at 541-682-5111, or UOPD at 541-346-2919.