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U. of C. Ramping Up Police Patrols, Increasing Security

By Sam Cholke | July 29, 2016 8:29am
 The University of Chicago operates a private police force of more than 100 officers on the South Side.
The University of Chicago operates a private police force of more than 100 officers on the South Side.
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DNAinfo/Sam Cholke

HYDE PARK — As crime rates fall in Hyde Park, the University of Chicago is increasing patrols by university officers and tightening security.

In a letter to students, faculty and staff on Wednesday, university President Robert Zimmer said the university is beefing up its police force by adding more officers and increasing patrols.

Zimmer said that robberies on campus have dropped by 60 percent and violent crime within the entire area patrolled by university officers has dropped by 19 percent since 2009. But he said there are still concerns about safety.

“In recent months members of our community have expressed growing concerns about issues of safety and security,” Zimmer said. “Each instance of crime, particularly because of its human impact, must be taken seriously. The university has a longstanding commitment to working with our communities to promote safety and security and it is of the utmost importance that we respond effectively.”

He said the university police are increasing patrols by 28 percent and hiring new officers.

Zimmer said the university has also added security around some of its off campus properties, like Harper Court, 5235 S. Harper Court, and is updating its security technology and requiring key-card access to more campus buildings.

“I have spoken with the mayor about crime in our community, informed him that we are increasing our resources, and expressed our desire to increase collaboration with the city and the [Chicago Police Department] to address community concerns,” Zimmer said.

He said university officers would be working more with city police and would be targeting high crime areas within its patrol boundaries, which extend from the lake to Cottage Grove Avenue and 37th Street to 64th Street.

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