Update on Rowan's Security Enhancement Initiatives

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On October 30, 2007, President Farish issued an open letter to the greater University community that outlined his plan for enhancing security on campus in the aftermath of the tragic beating death of Donald Farrell. He offered the initiatives not because Rowan's campus was unsafe-crime had dropped over the past three years-but to address the perception by some students that they did not feel safe. Dr. Farish wrote, "Although we believe that our campus is safe, we recognize also that perception is often reality, and if our students believe they are not safe, then that is a reality to which we need to react."Below is a list of the 14 initiatives he outlined and how the University is progressing on implementing each. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Dr. Timothy Michener, director of Public Safety, at 856-256-4566 or via michener@rowan.edu.

On October 30, 2007, President Farish issued an open letter to the greater University community that outlined his plan for enhancing security on campus in the aftermath of the tragic beating death of Donald Farrell. He offered the initiatives not because Rowan's campus was unsafe-crime had dropped over the past three years-but to address the perception by some students that they did not feel safe. Dr. Farish wrote, "Although we believe that our campus is safe, we recognize also that perception is often reality, and if our students believe they are not safe, then that is a reality to which we need to react."

Below is a list of the 14 initiatives he outlined and how the University is progressing on implementing each. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Dr. Timothy Michener, director of Public Safety, at 856-256-4566 or via michener@rowan.edu.

14-Point Security Enhancement Plan

1. Increase Security Staff: Hire additional security staff with the intention of creating a greater sense of presence of security on the campus. These staff will patrol the campus itself, during the evening and nighttime hours, by foot or bicycle, with a special concentration on the parking areas and residence halls. Status: Three Public Safety officers are scheduled to become police officers. Two of the officers have already completed their police training and will begin their field-training program on December 22. The third will attend the police academy in March 2008. Their promotions will give Rowan a total of 17 police officers and 18 security officers and guards protecting the campus.

Public Safety continues to keep the majority of its police on 12-hour shifts. Additionally, two Glassboro police officers accompany Rowan police in patrolling campus from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings. Extra patrols went into effect starting November 1.

2. Add more Police Officers: For the long term, the President will recommend to the Board of Trustees that Rowan hire five additional police officers. Status: Public Safety began advertising five open security officer positions on November 8. These officers will be promoted to police officers as soon as possible. The new security officers will be on duty by the start of the spring semester.

3. Student Community Policing: Public Safety will provide additional training for the Student Community Policing Practitioners, who currently accompany students to and from campus venues upon request. Status: Public Safety has revamped its training program for the student practitioners. All the SCPPs have undergone self-defense and personal safety training and will learn more about department policy and procedures, patrol tactics and report writing.

4. Expand Safe Walk & Ride Program: Rowan will expand its 20-year-old escort program, newly renamed Safe Walk & Ride. Students will be able to call Public Safety if they wish to be escorted or driven to and from nearby off-campus residences and the campus itself. Status: The expanded Safe Walk & Ride Program has been introduced to the University community. One escort vehicle has been decaled with the name of the program, and a second car will be in service by January. The expanded program includes service to off-campus residences. The Safe Walk & Ride program runs from 8 p.m. until 4 a.m. Normal patrols handle escort requests that are received at all other times.

5. Create a Student Patrol Program: Public Safety will begin a new program called Student Patrol, wherein students will be trained and hired to patrol the campus in uniformed pairs on foot or bicycle. Status: A program description has been written and students are being recruited through the Law/Justice Studies and Student Community Policing programs. Twelve students will be hired as soon as a training program and a selection process are developed.

6. K-9 Corps: Rowan will investigate the creation of a K-9 corps. Status: Public Safety has completed an assessment and is in the process of developing the K-9 Unit. The next steps include selecting a dog handler and sending that person for training at the Philadelphia Police Academy in February. The unit will be active by the start of the Fall 2008 semester.

7. Evaluate Lighting: The University will evaluate lighting throughout campus to ensure that it is well lit and act expeditiously to make improvements where necessary. Status: Public Safety met with consultants who, among other things, provided suggestions for improving lighting on campus. Facilities Management has developed and is implementing an overall improvement plan.

8. Increase Student Programming: We will significantly increase student-programming funds to allow for more campus events and in that way encourage more students to stay on campus. Status: The Office of Student Activities and Student Life is working with a student committee and SGA to pilot "Rowan After Hours," a campus-wide late night/weekend programming initiative for Spring 2008. This program will take place every Thursday evening of the semester from 9 p.m. to 1a.m. in the Student Center, with the goal being to provide fun, exciting and safe activities for our student body during peak social hours. An expanded weekly "Friday Night Games" program also will be introduced next semester in the Student Center. Beginning Fall 2008, the Rowan After Hour will run Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights throughout the fall and spring semesters. Contact Tina Pinocci at pinocci@rowan.edu for more information.

9. Cameras: Rowan will continue to assess the feasibility of installing cameras in certain locations on campus. Status: Public Safety is assessing the feasibility of adding a parking garage camera system that could also be gradually expanded to support a campus-wide system.

10. Personal Safety Programs: Public Safety will build on existing personal safety programs, including self-defense classes. Status: Campus police presented one RAD course (women's self defense program) in November, and a second is currently underway. They are also developing a personal safety lecture to be used in Rowan Seminar classes. Since all first-year students must take Rowan Seminar, this would allow Public Safety to present personal safety suggestions in small group settings, eventually to every Rowan student.

11. Maximize Coverage: Public Safety will restructure its shifts temporarily, increasing them from eight hours to 12 hours so there can be more officers on duty during specific peak periods. Status: Police officers are overlapping shifts for four hours of their 12-hour shifts. Additionally, extra patrols have been put into service seven days a week from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. Two Glassboro police officers patrol with Rowan officers on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings. And, Public Safety runs "party patrols" in the areas that surround campus on Wednesday through Saturday nights, as needed.

12. Extra County Funding: The Gloucester County Prosecutor's Office will provide funding to the Borough of Glassboro to expand police coverage in the vicinity of the campus. Status: The Prosecutor's Office provided funds that paid for a week's worth of party patrols. Overtime was used to pay for the added coverage at other times.

13. Class Schedules: The University will work with the faculty to increase the number of daytime classes to allow students to avoid evening classes if they want. Status: There is a task force examining how to best adjust the class schedule.

14. Rowan Alert: The University community will be strongly encouraged to subscribe to the institution's mass-notification system. Status: Approximately 35 percent of those eligible to subscribe to Rowan Alert are now registered with the system. The University plans to begin another marketing campaign in January.

Additional Progress:

  • Public Safety has ordered 35 emergency blue-light phones-seven to replace older phones and 28 to be installed in new locations.
  • Public Safety met with two consultants who conducted a review of the department to determine whether its size, policies and procedures appropriately meet the needs of a campus of Rowan's size and type. The department is in the midst of evaluating the findings and implementing suggestions.
  • Crime dropped during the month of November from 21 Part I Offenses in 2006 to 17 Part I Offenses in 2007. Crime has decreased 17.3% so far this year (January 1st through December 1st). See www.rowan.edu/safety for more information.