The Edmond Sun

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January 13, 2014

UCO preps for more security cameras

EDMOND — More security cameras on the University of Central Oklahoma campus will deter crime, aid investigations and help create a safer community, a UCO official said.

UCO Police Chief Jeff Harp said an annual security and fire safety report satisfies a federal mandate, but its real purpose is to help inform the UCO community and prospective students and employees about safety and security on campus.

Harp said UCO’s mission is to help students learn, but administrators recognize this is not possible in an unsafe environment for its 17,217 students (fall 2013), faculty, staff and visitors.

“Safety and security are everyone’s business and each individual should always be alert and secure themselves and their property,” Harp said.

Departments across the campus have been aggressively engaged in the pursuit of replacing campus closed circuit cameras and preparing for a drastic expansion of cameras on campus, Harp said. Administrators worked as a team to define needs and to set procedures and requirements to enable this, Harp said.

During the coming weeks a vendor who will assist Central will be selected, Harp said.

Also in 2013, UCO Police Services and the Edmond Police Department entered into an agreement to partner more fully in training, Harp said. UCO officers, who have full enforcement authority on campus, now join Edmond officers each quarter in firearms and other law enforcement training, Harp said.

One resource making UCO safer is its alcohol and drug abuse prevention office located in the Nigh University Center, Harp said. The office provides prevention strategies for alcohol and drug abuse on the UCO campus.

University of Central Oklahoma disciplinary actions related to drug abuse and liquor law violations have fallen during the last three years, administrators report.

Harp said there is no simple explanation for the decreases. The incidents are not reported by victims, but have to be discovered by someone and then reported, Harp said.

“We see trends over time that show decreases and increases and the reasons are varied and often unknown,” Harp said.

At uco.edu, UCO Police Services offers information on its services which include community policing, SafeWalk, stalking, a way for community members to submit tips, Broncho Five-O, a daily crime log and a copy of the annual security and fire safety report.

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