University chief of police responds to concerns surrounding lack of campus safety

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Photo courtesy of Stephen Gangi.

A university police car, West Haven, April 20, 2022.

Stephen Gangi, Contributing Writer

When most children grow up, they are met with the expectations of going to college and getting a degree, but what happens if the place that these children are being sent to isn’t kept safe? Universities around the country are often located in areas where crime rates are above average, which puts many students at risk for encountering danger.

The University of New Haven has been no exception to these circumstances, but the University Police Department (UPD) has recently taken extra steps of caution to improve campus safety.

The university police department is affiliated with the town of West Haven, receiving its powers from the city’s Mayor’s office. UPD has implemented many protocols to ensure campus safety for all members of the community. With an accredited team of 20 experienced officers working seven days a week, 24 hours a day, the university police department has jurisdiction over all areas on and surrounding campus.

University Chief of Police and alumni, Adam Brown, shared information regarding the safety protocols the department holds, and how the university is approaching campus safety overall. Brown said, “every officer is retired from other police departments.” P.O.S.T. training is required for all officers in the state of Connecticut, which is the basic educational training provided during the academy.

“Each officer has previous experiences” Brown said, “with a range of all different types of officers.”
New technology has been purchased by the university and won’t be implemented until the fall 2022 semester. These new safety measures include automatic gates at university entrances, such as the ones seen near the police station and north campus, which will be placed at each entrance of the university. University staff and residents will be able to scan their ID badges in order to gain access to the campus.

Accompanying these gates, the university will also be installing license plate readers. This will allow UPD officers to identify any vehicles that may be stolen as they make their way onto campus, preventing similar issues from arising, such as the robbery that occurred in December. In addition to these new updates, UPD officers will also be given body-cameras, ensuring their conduct and the conduct of those around them is documented in case any future issues arise.

Another measure being put into place is the ability for students and faculty to receive a police escort while on campus. After hearing concerns from the campus community regarding safety around campus, Brown began work to put in a means of further assisting students off-campus. Beginning in the fall 2022 semester, UPD officers will be available for police escorts if the shuttle services are down or past operating times, whether a student is located at north campus or in the downtown New Haven area.

Brown also said, “I want everyone to know I have an open door policy” and is available for any student to schedule an appointment with to address any concerns or questions.