Burglaries rose in 2010 for total on-campus, non-campus and public property according to a new report, but Butler University’s Chief of Police and Director of Public Safety said it looks worse than it is.
There were 14 burglaries in 2010 as opposed to nine in 2009, according to the 2010 Comprehensive Combined Annual Security Report and Annual Fire Safety Report.
“What we typically count as a theft, we now have to count as a burglary,” Police Chief Ben Hunter said, whose department is responsible for reporting within one state and two federal classifications that
frequently are tweaked by legislators.
To audit and reflect truer stats, Butler University Police Department goes through a three-phase system. Hunter said this makes for truer stats.
“We take it very seriously,” Hunter said.
BUPD has added new features to beef up campus security this fall, including a DawgWatch notification program and a new system to curb bicycle thefts.
Hunter said the changes were made proactively.
“What can we do to make our campus uninviting to criminals?” he said. “I’ve been doing it a long time, and a lot of police work is partnership, luck and hard work.”
The DawgWatch notifications are located on all the emergency phones around campus are equipped with all the numbers students would need to contact BUPD.
Hunter said, “We are continuing to reach students with new technology.”
To attempt to stop bicycle thefts around campus, BUPD is asking students to voluntarily submit their bike serial numbers.
If enough numbers are submitted, BUPD will make it mandatory in the future.
“I’m always worried about bicycle thefts,” Hunter said.
Next for BUPD could be mapping software that tells real-time crime statistics, and the Butler community could go on BUPD’s website to see each incident.
“Eventually I think we’ll get there,” Hunter said.
Move-in day possibly was the first time parents were leaving their children for a long period of time without supervision, but parents didn’t seem worried.
BUPD said it is very rare for a parent to call with concerns, but said they are always running drills and calling adequate warnings to prepare students for possible occurrences.
Butler freshman Logan Cochran doesn’t seem too worried, either.
He said he is safe since his residence hall is next door to BUPD.
Cochran’s mother said that she has talked about the do’s and don’ts regarding safety, so she is not particularly worried that he will be in any sort of danger.
As the new school year begins, Hunter wants to remind students to call BUPD if anything suspicious is seen on campus.
“We are here for you as a resource,” said Hunter. “I’m always amazed that people see things but don’t call.”
BUPD has requested that students go onto their my.butler account and supply cell phone numbers and alternative emails so weather and security alerts can be sent immediately.
Contact information for parents or guardians also is requested, so BUPD knows who to contact in case of an emergency.
-Additional reporting by Hayleigh Colombo
Great reporting on both reporters’ parts. Glad to see I can steer clear of the Butler campus on my tour to enhance journalism education across the country.