UTA Police enhance safety measures and lower crime rate

Expanded crime-fighting technology and a new student-focused safety program are among the security improvements made on the UTA campus, which has experienced a significant decrease in campus crime in recent years. The year-to-date crime rate at UTA is down 32 percent from 2014.

While The University of Texas at Arlington is located in the middle of one of the largest metropolitan areas in the country, the UTA Police Department employs proactive measures to ensure this is a safe and secure campus. UTAPD has hired 12 police officers and 12 public safety officers since the Fall 2016 semester.

“Our police officers are the best in their field and exhibit tremendous dedication to our campus community every day,” said UTA President Vistasp Karbhari. “The safety of students, faculty, staff and visitors is our number one priority and we have invested in technology and training to provide a secure and welcoming environment for them.”

UTAPD, named the UT System Pacesetter Police Department of the Year in 2016, enhanced its technological capabilities by strategically placing equipment at parking facilities and remote areas of campus.

The department also launched MavWatch, a program that places students on patrol. UTAPD trained several students, two of whom will act as supervisors, to provide additional eyes and ears across campus. These are part-time paid student-worker positions. MavWatch Patrol Officers will function not as police officers, but as a support team to patrol campus for unusual activity, provide courtesy escorts, assist visitors and report safety concerns for expeditious resolution.

“MavWatch student patrols will immediately report to our officers anything that seems suspicious so that we can respond,” said UTA Police Chief Kim Lemaux. “It’s crucial that our community looks out for one another. That’s why we are excited to introduce the MavWatch program. We believe it adds an extra layer of observance and establishes an even closer connection between those of us in uniform and the community we serve.”

Lemaux said partnerships across campus are key to lowering crime. After consulting with UTAPD, the Central Library developed new entrance and exit procedures and the Maverick Activities Center instituted new locker policies that have lowered the instances of theft of personal property at both locations.

“Our police department is a true leader in campus policing,” said Vice President for Administration and Campus Operations John Hall. “Texas Governor Greg Abbott appointed Chief Lemaux to the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, which establishes and enforces standards for the state’s law enforcement, corrections and public safety telecommunications personnel. UTA’s Police Department has also been reaccredited by the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators and the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies. We are in good hands at UTA.”