WUPD, UCPD place security cameras on Greenway Walk
According to Chief of Police Don Strom, the installation process began Feb. 2.
“We’ve been conducting an ongoing review of safety and security issues in off-campus neighborhoods, and we identified Greenway as a key pedestrian area for students, faculty and staff,” Strom said. “We have previously increased security in the area during evening hours. Installing a closed-circuit television system is the logical next step to enhancing safety and security in the Loop area.”
In addition to installing the television system on Greenway, the University has upgraded the area’s lighting and emergency phones. The Neighborhood Security Patrol of the Washington University Police Department (WUPD) also monitors the Greenway Walk nightly from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m.
The Greenway Walk is a popular pedestrian walkway between Melville and Westgate avenues. For the many University students who live off campus and use the Greenway Walk to get to and from classes on a daily basis, security is a necessity.
“Keeping students safe—and feeling safe—is among the University’s highest priorities,” Dean of Students Justin Carroll said. “We hope that the installation of this security system will discourage crime along the Greenway Walk and lead to a safer environment for all in the campus community living in and visiting University City.”
Despite all of the University’s efforts, crime is an unfortunate reality. This past October, four subjects mugged a female student at gunpoint near the Greenway Apartments. More recently in January, four subjects attacked a graduate student who was walking on Melville Avenue after he refused to give them money. The assailants fled after taking the student’s cell phone and cash.
To further protect students, cameras are also being installed on Melville Avenue from Kingsbury Boulevard to Washington Avenue.
The University is collaborating with University City to increase security not only in residential areas, but also on the Delmar Loop.
“Washington University continues to be a critical partner in maintaining the Loop as the premier entertainment district for the region, but equally important, Washington University is ensuring the surrounding residential areas continue to be safe, inviting neighborhoods where our residents feel comfortable relaxing and having fun,” said Julie Feier, city manager of University City.
In order to further ensure the safety of students, WUPD is collaborating with the University City Police Department (UCPD).
“Washington University provides financial support to the University City Police Department and assists with direct patrols,” Feier said. “The closed-circuit system will provide yet another means of keeping our community safe.”
This past Halloween night, the Washington University and University City community faced tragedy when convicted drug felon Todd Shepard shot and killed Sgt. Michael King, a 50-year-old UCPD officer, at the intersection of Delmar Boulevard and Leland Avenue.
Jonathan Ching, a freshman who hopes to live off campus as an upperclassman, is wary of all the dangers.
“I’m thinking about moving off campus, but it’s a really tough decision. I don’t think I’ll be doing it anytime soon,” Ching said. “Whenever I walk past metro stations and stores which have ‘No firearms’ signs, I’m constantly reminded that there are real risks to living off campus.”
Closed-circuit televison systems are already in use at the Danforth University Center, all residence halls on the Danforth Campus and the Snow Way, Lien and Danforth University Center garages. The cameras on Greenway are the University’s first off-campus security installations.
The University advises students to use common sense when going out and always to be alert.