Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,
I would like to offer my sincere thanks to all who recently participated in the VCU Police Department's survey on "Perceptions of Campus Safety." We received more than 2,200 responses from students, faculty and staff, and this feedback has proved to be invaluable in assessing your feelings regarding security on the Monroe Park and MCV Campuses. VCU Police and the University administration have engaged in a "deep dive" into the data and feedback to identify areas of concern and opportunities for improvement. While this process is ongoing, I would like to give you a brief overview of what we have learned so far, and provide an outline of what steps we plan to take to increase campus safety.
Some highlights of the "Perceptions of Campus Safety" survey include the following:
· 93.9% of VCU students, faculty and staff reported generally feeling "very safe" or "safe" on the University's campuses, an increase from 93.3% in the Spring 2012 survey
· 90% of survey participants have not been victims of crime
· Survey participants reported feeling least safe when waiting for public transportation, walking in parking decks, and walking in the surrounding community after dark
· The VCU Escort Service, Emergency Reporting Telephone System, and VCU Alert website were all reported as having resulted in increased feelings of safety on campus
As a result of the survey responses, VCU Police and the University administration are now planning on the following next steps:
· Increasing lighting on campus streets, sidewalks, parking decks and parking lots, and replacing or repairing defective and outdated lighting
· Increasing foot and bike patrols of campus police and security officers to create a more visible "on the ground" police presence
· Changing police deployments to address specific locations identified in survey responses
· Conducting assessments of locations for additional ERTS phones
· Developing new community engagement programs with local businesses and neighborhood groups
· Increasing information sharing between the Richmond Police Department and the VCU Police Department
These are only a few of the measures that we will institute in the coming weeks and months. We will keep you updated as new policies and safety programs are implemented. Again, thank you to all who took the time to respond. Your opinions and suggestions are some of the most valuable tools we have in building a better and more secure campus, and we are always grateful for your feedback. Should you have any suggestions or concerns regarding campus safety, feel free to use the VCU Police comment page at http://www.police.vcu.edu/about/suggestion.html.
David W. Hanson