Summer Not A Prime Time For Crime
A University of Central Oklahoma Police cruiser sits outside of the UCOPD station on campus in Edmond, Okla. (Provided/ Vista Archives).
The University of Central Oklahoma ranks 8 out of 20 in Niche’s list of Safest College Campuses in Oklahoma, with the top three crimes being possession of controlled dangerous substances, larceny and warrants, according to the UCO crime log.
“Crime rates drop off half from commencement to August 1,” said Chief of UCO Police, Jeff Harp. The Sunday after commencement to the start of summer classes are the slowest weeks.
The summers are busier in terms of camps and conferences, bringing hundreds of visitors to campus and the residence halls. Most visitors are under 18, which presents unique challenges for UCO police.
“The arrest rate probably doesn’t change much,” said Harp. Most summer arrests are from traffic enforcement or larceny cases. Visitors are often not contributing factors to summer crime.
The UCO Police Department wants students to know they are still active during the summer months. According to Harp, there are a minimum of two officers on campus 24/7, with more on campus during the day.
New measures are being implemented across campus to improve coverage. A dozen cameras are being installed for expanded views of parking lots and public areas like Plunkett Park. SafeWalk boxes around campus are in the process of being updated to make them more accessible.
“Cameras solve cases. If someone is caught, they are less likely to commit again,” said Harp “Over time, crime rates will decrease.”
UCO also offers safety precautions including the SafeWalk program where students can request assistance to their vehicle or on-campus residence and the Rave Guardian app that alerts students of precautions they need to take if anything dangerous is happening on campus or if they are in trouble, it provides them the ease of pressing a button that sends the UCO Police their location immediately so that they may send help their way.
The UCO police want students, faculty and visitors to utilize these safety features or to directly contact them at 405-974-2345 or firstname.lastname@example.org.