July 24, 2015

Wayne State among top 50 safest college campuses in nation

Wayne State University has been ranked among the top 50 safest college campuses in America. 

BestColleges.com, which released the top-50 list, reviewed available data of every public college and university in the United States over the last five years (2009-13). Annual reports detailing crime or fire incidents over the previous year are included in the data, as required under the federally mandated Clery Act.

Wayne State was commended for providing safety and security measures that ensure lower rates of criminal incidents and behavior. The WSU Police Department (WSUPD), in particular, is noted for programs it has developed and administered for students and staff. 

Anthony Holt, WSU chief of police, credits the safe campus to the university leadership's commitment, dedication of WSU's police officers, and partnerships and collaborations in the community. 

"The leadership at Wayne State, from the top down, has supported our police department and provided the necessary resources needed to deliver effective community policing," Holt said. "The recognition as one of the nation's safest college campuses would not have been possible without leadership support, community partnerships, and the dedication and resolve of our police officers and civilian employees within the WSUPD." 

Wayne State's 60 police officers are fully licensed through the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES), are sworn Peace Officers commissioned under State law, and are commissioned as Detroit Police Officers. 

The department provides a full range of 24-7 professional police services to both WSU's main and medical center campuses as well as the surrounding Midtown neighborhood, with an average emergency response time of 90 seconds. Through partnerships with the Detroit Police Department, neighboring anchor institutions, community organizations, and philanthropic support, WSUPD has expanded its service area beyond its campus borders to reduce crime and enhance the quality of life.

Midtown Detroit has experienced a significant decrease in crime - serious crimes such as homicides and assaults are down 52 percent since 2008, compared with an 18 percent citywide decrease in crime over the same period. At the heart of this success is the WSUPD.  

"These results can be attributed to an overall shift in our department's approach to policing," Holt said. "For example, in 2009 we implemented CompStat, a data driven and crime reduction strategy. On a bi-weekly basis we bring together law enforcement agencies and community partners and focus on crime hot spots. Through this collaborative effort and technology, we can effectively target specific areas where crimes are being committed."

Some of the other crime prevention and awareness programs employed by the WSUPD include:

  • Street Smarts Personal Safety Seminars offering common sense safety tips for use in a wide variety of situations. All seminars are free.
  • Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) Program teaching awareness, prevention, risk reduction, avoidance and self-defense techniques to students, staff and faculty. 
  • CAMPUSWATCH: Since 1999, WSUPD has distributed monthly emails to more than 68,000 current students, staff, faculty, alumni and retirees. Each email includes updates of any criminal activity on campus and in the campus area, safety tips, and links to useful information pertaining to personal safety topics. 

For more information about WSUPD's crime prevention and awareness programs, visit: police.wayne.edu/programs.php

Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution offering more than 380 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to nearly 28,000 students.


Tom Reynolds
Phone: (313) 577-8093
Email: treynolds@wayne.edu

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