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Chief of Police goes in depth on campus safety procedures

October 10, 2014

UW-River Falls’ campus can be described as a small city within a city, which means it has to be run like one, and UWRF is.

The campus has its own police department that patrols the campus and protects the students.

On Monday, Sept. 29, Chief of Police Karl Fleury, on behalf of the UWRF Police Department, issued a campus safety alert.

“UW-River Falls has received an anonymous written communication that included an implied threat. The threat does not specify or target any particular person, group, or location. Even though the details of the threat are nonspecific in nature, the safety and security of the UW-River Falls campus community is a high priority, and the UWRiver Falls Police Department is investigating this matter,” the campus safety alert said.

According to Fleury, there is no new information, and the case remains under investigation. Each police department in the world has protocols and procedures set up that dictate how they respond to different situations, and the UWRF Police Department is no exception. The police department has a different procedure for every situation they face.

“Well, there are different protocols and procedures that are in place that we follow; guidelines that we follow,” Fleury said. “As far as notifications, there are different types of emergency notifications which can be something that is in progress. For example, if we had a gas leak on campus, which we just recently did have, a gas main that was severed, that’s emergency notification, where you release that information campus wide.”

The emergency notification helps the campus be aware and avoid certain locations, because they know about the safety issue.

There is also a timely warning, which lets students be aware when something happens, and also helps the community help the police catch the assailant or assist with the case by knowing information.

“A timely warning would come under the criteria if, for example, we had an assault that would have occurred on, let’s say on the trail within the campus,” Fleury said. “We certainly would put out a timely warning or notification to our campus community to make them aware of the situation that occurred and that it happened. It notifies the campus community so that they’re aware of the situation, so they can take safe guards to protect themselves. Also, it would help you know if we had possibly a description of the assailant, person involved, or person’s description.”

The UWRF Police Department also has set ways they use to notify the campus. They use the standard email, but aside from that there are multiple ways they can notify the campus community.

“There’s the text messaging system that’s in place,” Fleury said. “You can also put notifications through the campus community through signs on the entry ways to academic buildings or the residence halls. Also, bulletin boards are within it, so there’s a number of notification systems that are available to the campus community.”

Students have the option of signing up for the text messaging alerts.

“We provide 24-hour police services to our campus community. We’re here to protect and serve our campus community. I guess the thing that I would like our campus community to know is that we all take ownership of the safety and security on our campus, and that you are part of this, an integral part of our campus community, by being our eyes and ears out there,” Fleury said. “So if you see something that looks out of place, that’s not normal, call and let us know. We cannot be every place at all times, so if you see something, become involved. Make that phone call so we can make our campus and community safe.”

The UWRF Police Department has a policy manual on their website that goes over every protocol they have. It can be found at http://www.auwrf.edu/Police/policy.cfm.