Public Safety Update
September 12, 2014
> University of Minnesota Police Officers issued more than 90 citations over the weekend for alcohol related violations including open container, underage consumption, and public intoxication. As I wrote last week, the UMPD sees the highest number of alcohol-related medical emergencies in the first few weeks of fall semester and their increased efforts are designed to keep students safe.
Part of officers' efforts also includes stopping unsafe behavior before it happens. At least a couple of e-mailers disputed my statement that people who have been drinking are more vulnerable to being the victims of crimes such as robbery or assault. I ask you to think about it this way: more often than not, bad guys look for the path of least resistance. They will focus their efforts on the most vulnerable target—whether that target is an unlocked door, an unattended backpack, or someone who is too intoxicated to defend himself.
Earlier this week, a University student with a Blood Alcohol Content well in excess of the legal limit was beaten up and robbed. No Crime Alert was issued because the student was unable to describe what happened, how many attackers there may have been, or if he was in Dinkytown or downtown Minneapolis. In the coming weeks, the UMPD will continue their alcohol-related enforcement efforts to keep students safe, and to help prevent students from becoming the path of least resistance.
> On Monday afternoon, a pantograph on the top of a Green Line LRT vehicle failed and after some loud popping and electrical arcing, the train came to a stop just to the east of Church Street. University of Minnesota Police Officers responded along with the Minneapolis Fire Department, Metro Transit PD and Metro Transit maintenance personnel.
Riders in two of the three cars were kept on the train for nearly an hour until crews could ensure that power to the line was turned off. (The LRT operator incorrectly allowed passengers to exit one of the cars.) If you're ever on a train when an accident or mechanical failure occurs, the safest rule of thumb is to sit tight until safety personnel tell you it's safe to evacuate. You never know when a high-voltage power line may be down making the risk of electrocution a real possibility.
About 15 minutes after the Green Line incident began, emergency responders were called to a construction site near the intersection of Washington Avenue and Huron Boulevard after a worker operating a backhoe cut a gas line at the site. The leak was ultimately contained and there were thankfully no injuries in either incident.
> Thank you to everyone who stopped this week at one of the Coffee and Donuts with the Cops events where University Police Officers served 180 dozen donuts and 45 gallons of coffee over the course of three days. In addition to sharing comments and suggestions about campus safety, I know that many members of the University community made a point of thanking the officers for the work they do. Those expressions of thanks are always very much appreciated.
This message was approved by the Vice President for University Services of the University of Minnesota and sent to all Twin Cities students, faculty, and staff.
Visit the safety pages at the METRO Green Line website for more information on LRT safety, how to use bike boxes, and other safety messages.
For more safety and security information, see the University's SafeU website.
Previous updates can be found on the University Services website.