UI Police Chief Answers Questions About Campus Crime In Reddit AMA
Police Chief Alice Cary of the University of Illinois Police Department took to Reddit Thursday to answer questions from the college community focusing on the recent increase in crime.
Redditors asked Cary about the department’s plans for an increased law enforcement presence on Green Street, citing concerns about the rise in violent crime in the area.
“I know you don’t cover the area, but how do you plan to stop the massive wave of violent crime on green streets from spreading across campus? Asked a Redditor. “Every weekend there is a new story of shootouts or brutal hits on the green.”
Cary responded, saying the UIPD is currently involved in installing additional security cameras on Green Street, increasing patrols in the area and limiting after-hours access to some parking lots prone to crime.
However, Cary stressed that these physical measures were only intended to alleviate the visible effects of crime in the short term, not to address the broader causes of violent crime in general.
“When we are successful in chasing violent crime from one area, it can spawn in another area,” Cary said. “There are some very big community and social issues that we are currently grappling with across the country, and it will take more than the police to solve them. ”
Cary noted that recent problems “may be partly related to the increase in gun violence that we have seen in the community,” but that they are still relatively rare.
“I would like to caution against calling it a ‘massive wave’ of violent crime on Green Street,” Cary said. “Any amount of crime must be taken seriously… but no community will ever be completely free from crime. This highlights the importance for people to take steps to take care of themselves. “
To do this, she advised students to stay in groups and along well-lit, busy routes when traveling at night.
“Don’t get distracted by your phone,” Cary said. “Stay aware of your surroundings (this means don’t listen to music while you are walking at night). Use SafeWalks if you need to. Walk with confidence – even if you are lost, pretend you are not.
Asked about the recent hiring of social workers for the force, Chief Cary pointed out the addition of the crisis intervention, assessment and assistance team (REACH).
“Since the start of 2021, we have hired a crisis coordinator and two police social workers,” Cary said. “Our social workers get into patrol cars with specially trained police officers (who we call behavioral health detectives, or BHDs) to respond to mental health emergencies.”
Throughout the AMA, Cary reiterated that the security of the CU area involved not only the UIPD, but also the Champaign and Urbana Police Departments, and she expressed her gratitude to the three departments for cooperating. to the fight against crime.
“We are the university police department, so our main focus will remain to do everything possible to keep the campus safe,” Cary said.