UGA Enters Second Year of Campus Security Upgrades – WGAU

The University of Georgia is beginning the second year of a three-year, $8.5 million investment aimed at strengthening security measures on campus: UGA says it will hire new police officers and install new surveillance and lighting cameras.

From UGA President Jerry Moorhead…

The University of Georgia was recently ranked second nationwide for the best student life in America specialty. This is exciting news, and underscores the positive impact of the many programs we offer to expand the intellectual horizons of our students, support their individual needs, and provide a fun and engaging atmosphere in which to live and learn.

But in order to thrive, students and all members of our campus community—faculty, staff, alumni, and visitors—must feel safe. We have no higher priority than the continued safety and security of the university community, and we want you to be aware of the enhanced security measures on campus that have been implemented in recent years, as well as some of the relevant plans we have for the future.

The University of Georgia is now in the second year of a three-year, $8.5 million investment to bolster security measures for the campus, including placing additional surveillance and lighting cameras; appointment of additional police personnel; Creation of the Night Tour Sharing Program launched in Fall 2021; and the introduction of a new and more powerful application for smartphone safety. These latest measures increase the nearly $6 million the university has made in safety improvements over the past five years against a seven-year commitment of more than $14 million.

Since 2019, more than 300 outdoor camera views have been placed to focus on key pedestrian and vehicular paths around the campus. These cameras have provided pivotal evidence in numerous UGA and ACC police investigations for the benefit of both the UGA and the greater Athens community. Within the next year, the camera system will be expanded to include nearly 500 views.

Lighting improvements in key pedestrian and parking areas have also significantly improved night vision for faculty, staff, and students. UGA has identified several other areas that will be updated throughout the fall and spring semesters. We were pleased that the Consolidated Athens-Clark County Government agreed to accept our $250,000 savings to address lighting improvements and security cameras in the downtown business district and poorly lit corridors to and from campus. We recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding to designate these new assets, based on recommendations made in partnership by our Chiefs of Police.

We have also added 10 additional positions to the UGA Police Department in the past year, allowing them to expand their innovative efforts to address public safety issues with both civilian and juror personnel. Evening vehicle and pedestrian patrols have been increased in areas with high student traffic, such as the North Campus, and UGA Police will increasingly use high-visibility bike patrols this fall. We assign officers to focus on the safety of those traveling in and out of downtown in the early morning hours and to monitor heavily congested footpaths on the busiest nights of the week, and we believe the collective impact of these initiatives will be noticed by us. social communication.

We are particularly pleased with the early success of our night ride service, UGA Ride Smart, a partnership with Lyft. Since its launch last fall, more than 17,000 discounted flights have been made available to our students in our flight sharing program that runs from 10pm-6am seven days a week.

In addition, the UGA Safe app, updated this summer, allows users to share a real-time location with UGA Police or a friend, use BlueLight mobile, send text messages directly with UGA Police, find welfare resources, and see tips for responding to a case emergencies, reporting a crime or other safety concerns in addition to photos and video. If you haven’t already downloaded this resource, please do so here: https://prepare.uga.edu/uga-safe/.

Although local off-campus crimes fall under the jurisdiction of the Athens County Police – Clark, we remain committed to working in close cooperation – through the measures detailed above as well as enhanced use of technology and joint investigative efforts among our police departments – to help the ACCPD protect Those in the downtown area and hallways to and from campus.

To that end, this month we offered an additional $100,000 to Athens-Clarke County to support further developments in technology, lighting, and/or cameras in the downtown corridor as identified through collaboration with the UGA and ACC Chiefs of Police. While no university can guarantee individual safety or a complete lack of crime on campus or in the local community, we are committed to doing everything we can to help keep our community safe. Building and maintaining a safe and healthy campus requires the cooperation of our entire community – students, faculty, staff, and visitors alike. We hope you will join us in this effort.

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