Mayor, Police Chief, and USC President Address Campus Safety
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck, and USC President C.L. Max Nikias held a press conference Thursday morning to address safety and increased security at USC, and in surrounding neighborhoods.
Wednesday evening students received an email from President Nikias with more information about what USC and LAPD are doing to protect students and faculty. The message is available on Nikias's website.
USC is increasing the number of patrol cars, three-wheeled vehicle patrols, and public safety officers in the neighborhoods near campus. A "security ambassador" will now be doing a walking patrol of the route many students take from the Row (28th street) to the 901 Bar and Grill on Figueroa Street. There will also be an additional presence of DPS officers in vans, and campus cruisers.
USC is also planning on offering more options for USC students to educate themselves about safety in an urban environment. New websites and orientation sessions are in the works to teach students how to better protect themselves.
The availability of student housing that is affordable and close to campus has also been an issue on the minds of undergraduate and graduate students.
According to President Nikias, USC has plans to build 5,000 additional student-housing beds. The first phase of this plan is to redevelop the University Village, which is expected to provide 3,000 of these new beds for graduate students.
USC also plans to work with the city to trim trees and brighten street lighting near campus. The university has invested in video patrol cameras, license plate recognition cameras, and security ambassador posts for the streets bordering campus.
According to President Nikias, LAPD is using the "latest cutting-edge tools" for what they call "predictive policing." High capacity computing and sophisticated algorithms can help LAPD better combat crime in the southwest division, which includes USC. LAPD has also committed additional patrol cars to the University Park Campus area, and increased data sharing with DPS.
You can follow @atvn for all updates on campus safety.