The University of Minnesota is implementing new safety measures ahead of the upcoming school year.
In an email to the campus community Tuesday, University Senior Vice President for Finance and Operations Myron Frans outlined eight safety initiatives the school is offering this fall.
“The health and safety of our community have been and continues to be our top priority. As we have analyzed and responded to the changing environment on and around campus, we have launched several new initiatives,” Frans said in the email.
As part of the initiative, the University of Minnesota Police Department will work with the Minneapolis Police Department to coordinate stronger patrols in neighborhoods near campus. UMPD will also work with the Hennepin County Sheriff to increase patrols in the area
The university will implement four new blue-light kiosks in and around Dinkytown for increased surveillance and a connection to 911.
UMPD has also added neighborhood liaison and social worker to help respond to individuals in crisis on and off campus.
And the school will contract with an outside company to introduce safety ambassadors around Dinkytown and Marcy-Holmes to assist people between 6 p.m. and 2 a.m. on Thursday, Fridays and Saturdays. The ambassador program will begin the first week of classes.
Frans encouraged students to take advantage of an app made available over the summer that gives them access to a virtual walking escort and a connection to 911.
Students can also use the school’s existing escort service offered by security monitors and the free ride service, Frans noted. Finally, he pointed to the university’s Community Engagement Team, which provides crime updates and crime prevention training.
The new initiatives come after multiple shootings and other crimes took place in Dinkytown and other campus neighborhoods over the summer.
The June shooting also prompted University President Joan Gabel to call for new safety measures over the summer, including more police patrols in the area and better street lighting.