U of M Unveils New Security Plan Following Rise in Crime

Updated: 01/21/2014 8:15 PM KSTP.com By: Leslie Dyste

With the Green Line opening sometime within the next year, it will be much easier for anyone and everyone to get on the University of Minnesota campus. So the school is working to make it difficult for criminals to get away with thefts and assault on or near the campus.

"All of this is a collaborative effort and a partnership. Not with just our entities on campus but in the surrounding communities," said Dean of Students Danita Brown Young.

Forty-six more surveillance cameras are proposed to be installed along the campus perimeter and the university is collaborating with Minneapolis Police, Metro Transit and even MnDOT to create a network of surveillance cameras off campus, where crime is on the rise.

Bus routes will run seven days a week, until 2 a.m., to keep students from walking in more crime ridden neighborhoods.

Since the start of the school year there have been 20 arrests and gun seizures on and around campus, and 10 crime alerts have been sent to students notifying them of armed robberies, assaults and even an attempted kidnapping.

"There are no guarantees," said Vice President of University Services Pamela Wheelock. "The question is whether we're doing the most we can with the resources we have available to create and promote a safe community."

Senator Amy Klobuchar took the security measures one step further. She wants to take away the incentive criminals have in the first place to commit a crime that's becoming more and more common-stealing smartphones.

Sen. Klobuchar was on campus to present a new piece of legislation that would federally mandate all smartphones come with a kill switch option, which could render a stolen phone useless. This would make their phones inoperable to thieves while wiping the victim's personal and financial information from the device.