Wichita State University will add four police officers and continue working on multiple fronts to ensure a safe university community.
"We recognize that several recent incidents have raised concerns about campus safety. The crime rate is low, but no crime is acceptable," University Police Chief Sara Morris said. "We will continue to send a clear message to criminals to stay away from WSU."
The four additional commissioned law enforcement officers are in addition to 28 already employed. Morris said the new officers will be hired in an expedited search process. She said WSU maintains one of the larger police forces in Sedgwick County because of the dense concentration of people and property in the one square mile of the WSU campus.
"Students themselves can be the largest contributors to having a safe campus," said Morris.
She advises students to immediately contact police at 978-3450 if they see suspicious activities, sense danger or would like an escort anywhere on campus. Morris also encourages students to program the number into their cellphones.
Last week the university began deploying officers on foot to hear directly from students about their safety ideas and concerns and to offer advice to students on how they could increase their safety. Morris said the single biggest factor in personal safety is situational awareness. Students are advised to be aware of their surroundings, what other people are in the immediate area and what situation they might be entering.
ShockerAlert Safety System
The university has an extensive system called ShockerAlert that is available to notify students and others when a potentially dangerous situation exists. The system includes:
- Email and text emergency notifications. These go to individual faculty, staff and students through mass email and cell phone text messaging.
- Wireless Emergency Mass Notification System. The WSU Wireless Emergency Mass Notification System is a network of scrolling message boards that are strategically located in campus classrooms, department offices and in many building lobbies.
- Web alerts. In the event of an emergency, the WSU website (www.wichita.edu) will disseminate time-stamped news updates and contact information about the crisis. The myWSU site, which is a portal for students and staff, also has emergency notification features.
- Campus Information Channel. WSU's campuses feature strategically placed video monitors that normally display information about upcoming events. If a ShockerAlert is issued, emergency information will be displayed on these monitors.
Morris said the university is considering additional safety measures, including a mobile phone app that will integrate with the current emergency notification and be able to communicate directly from a cellphone to the WSU Police Department.
Anyone with campus safety ideas please submit them to http://www.wichita.edu/safetyfeedback.