MILWAUKEE — Marquette University's president Dr. Michael R. Lovell announced new safety measures on campus on Tuesday, including hiring more campus police.
In his announcement, Lovell noted that Milwaukee is experiencing "higher than usual" rates of crime.
"Several recent incidents have affected our campus, creating heightened concern around safety and security," he said. "As a parent of college-aged children, I know firsthand that a safe campus community is paramount for our entire Marquette community."
Lovell said Marquette is now taking immediate actions, which includes hiring additional Marquette University Police Department (MUPD) officers to increase patrol visibility on campus.
"We will add four additional MUPD officers who will be deployed to the areas of campus where most of the pass-through crime takes place," he said. "MUPD has also created a special team of officers dedicated to patrolling impacted areas of campus."
Marquette will also launch a President's Task Force on Community Safety. MUPD Chief Edith Hudson, a 25-year-old veteran of the Milwaukee Police Department, will chair the task force. The force will include students, parents, an community parents, who will develop 30-day, 60-day, and longer-term plans to help increase the campus community safety.
Lovell said MUPD will hire additional LIMO drivers and are assessing whether additional LIMO vans are needed.
"Our LIMO program transports Marquette community members to campus locations 365 days a year, ensuring safe arrival to their homes, cars and buildings," Lovell said in his announcement. "Whenever possible, students should use the free LIMO van service provided by MUPD, especially at night."
Student Lauryn Flannagan thinks the LIMO service is a great step.
"The LIMO service I think is a great option," said Flannagan. "I will say that we do need more LIMO drivers. I know there have been multiple instances where I've called three separate occasions and they have not come an hour later and I have to walk home because it's taking too long."
Flannagan says she's a senior and it seems to her things have changed.
"My freshman year coming here, I felt fairly safe," Flannagan said. "Then senior year it went from the outskirts to right on campus in broad daylight, and that's where I kind of get concerned."
Lovell's safety actions also include improving lighting, security cameras and traffic in and around campus. In the letter, he says he has spoken with Milwaukee leaders and is working to find out how the university can help prevent crime by addressing its root causes.
"It's more of a good thing, because it can help keep the students and the staff and teachers and professors here at the university safe," said student Deono Powell.
Flannagan stresses she has loved her time on campus.
"People here will look out for you first and foremost," Flannagan said. "Walk in pairs, take the LIMO, but I like it here, I wouldn't change it."
Marquette is also working on implementing MUID swipe access to campus buildings, including the Alumni Memorial Union.
Marquette University Police are offering personal safety classes for students and staff.
To read the full details on the new safety measures, click here to read Lovell's announcement.