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BUPD increases presence, adds foot patrols

Originally published in the October 8, 2010 issue

There are a few more eyes watching Campustown this semester.

More than a dozen security cameras were installed this summer after the Westlake Hall annex opened in the former Save-a-Lot.

“We’ve also increased our patrols twofold [in Campustown],” said Sgt. Rick Hutchinson. “We’ve gotten a lot of good response from the extra patrols.”

The College of Education and Health Sciences moved offices and a few classrooms to the storefront when Westlake was gutted to prepare for a renovation and expansion.

The Campustown cameras were the first exterior ones the university has purchased. Other campus cameras are located in the Markin Family Student Recreation Center, the new arena and the Peoria NEXT Innovation Center. The cameras are monitored, but not all the times.

“We’re hoping that trend continues,” Hutchinson said of adding cameras in other areas.

Along with the cameras and extra patrols, Bradley installed a handful of new blue light emergency phones.

“The addition of phones in Campustown will provide more police coverage if necessary,” said Ron Doerzaph, director of facilities management. “They will also help students report any type of emergency situation in more places than just on the main part of campus.”

The added security in the shopping center seems to sit well with students.

“Where the phones were added isn’t really part of campus officially, but that’s where a lot of students walk even if there aren’t attending class in the new building,” said Michelle Frye, junior criminal justice and sociology major. “So it’s a really go thing that the phones were added.”

Those aren’t the only adjustments the BUPD has made this semester, though.

From the hours of 5 p.m. to 3 a.m. there is at least one officer doing foot patrols through campus and down Fredonia Avenue.

“We’ve got officers assigned to walk campus so students know we’re out there,” Hutchinson said. “It’s to increase our presence.”

There are at least two patrol cars on every night shift so emergency response time won’t be impacted.

“The [foot patrol] officers aren’t there to respond to emergencies,” Hutchinson said. “They’re so students see them and know that we’re here.”