University’s police carts are a welcomed addition for campus security

On Sept. 26, the University of New Haven announced the addition of a new six-person security golf cart to serve as a safety escort for students looking to travel around campus. The escort runs in the evenings, from 5 p.m.-1 a.m. and consists of four main stops around campus: the Maxcy main entrance, Library shuttle stop, Forest Hills shuttle stop and North Campus shuttle stop.

This change was made in response to the concerns around student safety while traveling around campus, particularly following a recent incident where a student was robbed on Ruden St. just off campus on Aug. 29.

While this may seem like a silly and inherently small addition to campus life, it is actually a really good sign from the university: they recognize the possible issue of student security around campus and are making changes to address it. This gives another amenity to students that may come in handy to ease the stresses of having to walk alone at night, especially to more distant dorms like Forest Hills.

Hopefully, this is the start of more changes to campus safety. One golf cart may not be enough right now, but adding two or three more in the future could create a reliable transportation network to make traveling easier and safer for students. Not only this, but the presence of a police cart could help to dissuade any on campus crime or theft from happening.

Bike patrols have started to address this need. Following the Aug. 29 robbery, two-officer bike patrols were added to the standard police coverage to offer a roaming watch for campus. While such a change isn’t significant, small improvements like this help to guard against potential crimes around campus at night.

The University Police Department (UPD) has also taken strides to increase their coverage around the entrances to campus, with the latest being a security post at the library parking lot. Retractable gates have also been added to the Ruden St. and secondary Boston Post entrances, allowing UPD to open or close them whenever needed.

Another change for this semester is the requirement of body cameras for all UPD officers. This adds another level of safety and accountability among the officers that is always good to see for students on campus.

While UPD has drawn criticism from students due to the recent incidents, they deserve recognition for being proactive in updating campus security. It is very welcomed, and hopefully will go a long way towards improving security both on campus and in the immediate area for students.