UM-Dearborn named third-safest campus in Michigan in 2011, according to StateUniversity.com.

January 18, 2012

UM-Dearborn named third-safest campus in Michigan

UM-Dearborn named third-safest campus in Michigan in 2011

DEARBORN / Jan. 17, 2012 – Hundreds of trucks, vans and sedans canvass University of Michigan-Dearborn’s parking lots on a daily basis. And in 2011, those vehicles exited campus with their rightful owners. Not a single motor vehicle theft was reported to UM-Dearborn’s Department of Public Safety last year.

The same can be said for assaults, robberies and burglaries, according to the University’s 2011 crime statistics.

“Zero – that’s a hard number to meet,” said UM-Dearborn Police Chief Rick Gordon.
Especially when it comes to motor vehicle thefts, he said. Three such thefts were reported on campus in 2010, with another 11 in 2009 and eight a piece in 2007 and 2008.

Larceny complaints also are on a gradual downswing, as the department received 36 larceny complaints in 2011, many of which involved electronic devices. Gordon said popular items include iPods, GPS units, laptop computers and cellphones, some of which were taken from the Mardigian Library when left unattended. But 36 thefts is a far cry from the 62 reported larcenies in 2009.

Gordon, in part, credits the dwindling crime statistics to increased patrols on campus.
“We want to make ourselves more visible so people think twice before committing crimes on campus,” he said. “We put a real emphasis on high visibility.”

Public safety officers patrol campus 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Alex Mich, a UM-Dearborn senior studying history, can confirm that.

Mich works at the University’s Wellness Center and often sees patrol vehicles on campus, even when he punches in at 6 a.m. It’s just another reason why Mich said he feels safe on campus.

“Certainly, with their presence, it’s going to curtail crime quite a bit,” Mich said. “I feel just as safe as I have been before, but it’s nice to know there has been an improvement.”

And although officers often can be seen driving through campus, they also are required to leave their vehicles and walk through academic buildings to expand their presence.
“They’re on foot all the time,” Gordon said.

Gordon said officers often approach students at the library to remind them about protecting their valuables if they decide to step away from their workstation.
“These students just have to make sure their stuff is secure,” he said.

The department works closely with the City of Dearborn’s Police Department on certain investigations, and Gordon also emails public safety advisories across campus when officers detect an ongoing crime trend.

“If things crop up, like an epidemic of a certain vehicle being stolen, we put an advisory out for that,” he said.

The department’s increased visibility and mission to ensure campus safety played a role in UM-Dearborn being named the third-safest campus in Michigan in 2011, according to StateUniversity.com. The website devoted to providing information about colleges and universities throughout the country also named UM-Dearborn the third-safest campus in Michigan in 2010.

The University received a safety rating of nearly 96 percent based on various crime statistics from 2011, including burglary, larceny and aggravated assault. The only two institutions ranked ahead of UM-Dearborn, in regard to safety, are Oakland Community College and Delta College, located near Saginaw, Mich. To see where other colleges and universities in Michigan rank, visit www.stateuniversity.com/rank_by_state/safety_score_rank/MI.html.

Founded in 1959 with a gift of just over 200 acres of land and $6.5 million from the Ford Motor Company, University of Michigan-Dearborn is a metropolitan university serving southeastern Michigan, committed to excellence rooted in strong academics, innovative research and programming and civic engagement. The University has nearly 8,900 students pursuing more than 100 bachelor's, master’s, doctoral and professional degrees in liberal arts and sciences, engineering, business and education. A top-ranked university with a faculty devoted to teaching, and students committed to achievement, UM-Dearborn has been shaped by its history of partnering with local leaders and communities, and is committed to finding solutions for the challenges that face the region.
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Contact:
Beth Marmarelli
313-593-5542 / bethmar@umd.umich.edu