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University Council receives public safety update

Safety is a campus-wide responsibility at Binghamton University, Michael McGoff, acting vice president for administration, told the Binghamton University Council at its March 20 meeting.

Cooperation among University Police, the Personal Safety Advisory Committee, Residential Life, Environmental Health and Safety, Off Campus College and Health and Physical Education helps the campus — characterized as a small city by McGoff — operate as safely as possible.

McGoff’s statements were supported by Roger Johnson, SUNY assistant vice chancellor for University Police, who was quoted as saying, “The vision and leadership of the University Police at Binghamton University is second to none. When I need advice or expertise, I always feel confident that the help I need can be found at Binghamton. …”

The annual Campus Safety Report, presented by Chief of University Police and Director of Public Safety John Schwartz, showed a decrease in reported crimes during 2008.

With nearly 40,000 calls to dispatch dealt with, Schwartz said serious crimes have remained fairly steady, but remain a focus for his staff. Criminal mischief, harassment, petit larceny and disorderly conduct remain the most frequently reported crimes, he said.

Schwartz and McGoff highlighted a number of measures from the past year, including addition of lighting and blue light phones, addition of handrails in various locations on campus and efforts to improve pedestrian safety with enhanced lighting at key locations including the University Downtown Center, new crosswalk paint schemes to draw attention to them and voluntary speed compliance signs in four locations on campus.

“Increased traffic enforcement has resulted in 127 vehicle and traffic misdemeanor arrests and 24 DWI arrests this past year,” Schwartz said.

In addition, continual refinement of emergency communications and response methods, fire safety training for residential life staff, self-defense and wellness programs offered through Health and Physical Education, safety measures for off-campus students and implementation of recommendations from the Personal Safety Advisory Committee add to the ability to maintain a safe campus.

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Last Updated: 10/14/08