UMass Dartmouth is making a significant commitment to enhancing the safety of its students, staff and faculty during the fall semester.
"By any standard, our campus is a safe one, but the men and women of the UMass Dartmouth police force are dedicated to making our community safer every day,'' said Colonel Emil Fioravanti, director of public safety. "This year, we are taking a number of actions that will help us protect our community.''
Among the changes:
* The addition of nine new police officers and 2 new security officers to the Department of Public Safety, which will bring the department to 26 sworn police officers who are graduates of a municipal police academy, 10 security officers, and four dispatchers.
* The campus, as part of a statewide public higher education system initiative, is acquiring an instant messaging system that will allow campus officials to quickly notify students, staff and faculty members of an emergency.
* Crime prevention programs are being expanded to include monthly presentations for resident and commuter students, as well as staff and faculty.
* Transportation service has been expanded helping students to avoid walking across campus alone after dark. Included is a new 14-passenger shuttle bus which will compliment the current Dart Van service.
* A new parking plan has been implemented, which will assist in regulating traffic and tracking ownership of vehicles.
* The campus is investigating public address warning system options that will allow officials to communicate emergency bulletins campus-wide.
* Increased lighting focused on parking lots and walkways will be installed during the semester.
* The emergency call box system is being expanded and upgraded. By mid-semester, the initial phase of the plan will be completed.