This Halloween the Hilltop Safety Cruisers reached a new record of students transported, with 457 students transported in a single night, spread over 217 calls.
The safety cruiser program, implemented in 2012 by the Bradley University Police Department, provides nightly transportation to Bradley students. It takes students within its boundaries between 7 p.m. and 3 a.m. any night during the semester.
This semester they have handled about 50 to 80 calls per night on weeknights, and generally more than a hundred calls on weekends as students take advantage of the service.
“I’ve called them a lot, actually, throughout the years,” said Haley White, a senior English major. “Most recently, I was a junior … It was kind of busy, so it took maybe 10-12 minutes.”
The number of calls varies depending on the weather, and this Halloween’s unusual snowfall may have increased the number of calls. The record on Halloween weekend far exceeds the previous highest number of students transported, 396 in February of 2008.
“Most holidays school is not in session, so the program is not in operation,” said BUPD Lt. Noralee Fales, who manages the safety cruiser program. “So Halloween would be one of our busiest holidays.”
Fales said she was impressed with the record, especially given the adverse weather conditions. She gave credit to the dispatchers and the drivers who participate in the safety cruiser program.
“I am extremely proud of the program and the student drivers,” she said. “I am excited to be a part of the program and think it provides great opportunities to the student employees and … safe transportation to the people who utilize the program.”
One of the vans was recently replaced with a Ford Transit, which has a higher capacity and provides more seats than in previous years. BUPD officers also provide safety escorts at any time of the day.
For BUPD the program is successful, but they recognize that there is always room for improvement in the program.
“At this time, this capacity seems to be working well, but we can always re-evaluate the program as needed,” Fales said.