INDIANAPOLIS — Students walking around the campus of University of Indianapolis say they feel a lot safer than they did a few months ago.
“It definitely does make me feel safer knowing that there’s more people out here looking out for us,” said UIndy freshman Ellie Lengerich. “And if something does happen they can catch it on camera.”
The security additions come after a 3-month campus safety analysis that followed a violent fall semester at UIndy.
“They put a bunch of new things in the parking lot so cars aren’t getting messed with anymore,” said UIndy freshman Abe Buescher.
The last few months of 2021 saw the on-campus killing of 26-year-old Dazmond Morgan, as well as the off-campus murder of UIndy football player Koebe Clopton. The semester also included an increase in burglaries, robberies and thefts.
“It’s a lot more lit in these common areas at night, so I feel pretty safe for myself,” said sophomore Edson Mhoanga.
The campus safety analysis was led by former Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Chief Troy Riggs and included a top-to-bottom examination of safety and security at UIndy and the surrounding community.
Some of the recommendations from the study are already visible on campus. UIndy has more than doubled the number of security cameras to nearly 100, including multiple mobile camera units in parking lots.
Additional lighting has been installed between Cory Bretz, Central and Crowe Halls. UIndy is also in process of installing new lighting on the north side of Christel DeHaan and continuing to work with AES on lighting not managed by the University.
The gate on National Avenue is now closed nightly from 11:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. with nighttime traffic reduced on campus.
UIndy also has plans to add more emergency call boxes around campus, and its new “Grady’s Safety Walk” dedicated phone line is now operational. Students and staff can call that number to request rides or escorts across campus.
UIndy has also hired two additional officers for its campus police department, with plans to hire two more.
“Our job as an institution is to make sure our policies and our protocols are all up to speed,” said UIndy President Robert Manuel.
Manuel said the study and recent enhancements are part of an ongoing process to evaluate safety and security at UIndy and the surrounding community. In addition to physical additions on campus, educational and informational programs and meetings are being held to enhance connections between students, staff and police.
“Any crime that happens on campus is heartbreaking, we’re a close community that cares about each other,” Manuel said. “We have to have a modern, comprehensive approach to public safety, and this was that opportunity.”
The next major move will be UIndy’s hiring of its first Director of Public Safety, a new position.