Safety and Security Alert Notification Update

To: The Campus Community
From: Eric M. Heath, Associate Vice President for Safety & Security
Subject: Safety and Security alert notification update
Date: July 10, 2018

The safety and security of our campus and neighboring communities is of great importance to the University. As part of the University’s commitment to transparency and to providing timely information on safety issues, we regularly evaluate our processes and seek feedback from people at the University and in our broader community to ensure that this information is as clear and useful as possible.

I write to update you on changes to the current crime notification process, which will provide more choice in the amount of crime-related information that people in our campus community and neighboring communities can receive. This change is based in part on community feedback indicating that some people would like more messages about crimes in the UCPD patrol district, while others prefer fewer such messages. Moving forward, the University will enable these choices by providing access to two new, opt-in notifications that provide information beyond what is required by law. We will continue to send campus-wide Security Alerts, which will focus on notifications required by law. We have developed the two new options in an effort to increase transparency and allow members of our campus community and broader community to opt in to receive regular updates about serious crimes reported to UCPD within its extended patrol area, while still providing essential alerts.

Campus-wide Security Alerts are required by the federal Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, also known as the Clery Act. The law requires a college or university to issue such alerts to its campus community when a specified crime occurs on or immediately adjacent to campus property and poses a serious or ongoing threat to the campus community. Moving forward, campus-wide Security Alerts will focus on our Clery obligations with regard to Clery Act incidents.

Starting today, for off-campus crimes that are reported to UCPD, we will provide expanded information beyond what is required by the Clery Act, via two new opt-in resources:

  • Daily Crime Bulletin. The Daily Crime Bulletin will include information about serious crimes within the entire UCPD extended patrol area that are reported to UCPD. These crimes include homicides, criminal sexual assaults, robberies, aggravated batteries, and residential burglaries classified as home invasions. The Bulletin will also include such information as where the crime occurred within the UCPD patrol area. The opt-in Daily Crime Bulletin will be distributed five days per week, classified by three distinct neighborhoods: Hyde Park/ South Kenwood, North Kenwood/Oakland and Woodlawn. In addition, on a quarterly basis, the Daily Crime Bulletin will provide an analysis of crime trends by area.
  • Crime Notice.  Crime Notices will be timely emails about certain off-campus violent crimes within the UCPD’s extended patrol area that are reported to UCPD. These crimes include homicides, confirmed shooting of a person, and cases where UCPD suspects a pattern of crimes. Crime Notices will be sent only for crimes that fit these criteria and will be categorized by the neighborhoods listed above.

To opt into the Daily Crime Bulletin, please visit https://lists.uchicago.edu/web/subscribe/ucpd-crime-bulletin. To opt into the Crime Notice, please visit https://lists.uchicago.edu/web/subscribe/ucpd-crime-notice.

Although incidents such as non-violent burglaries, thefts, and damage to property will not be featured in the Daily Crime Bulletin or Crime Notices, they will continue to be available on our website in the current Daily Crime/Fire Log.

Lastly, UCPD’s General Orders have been added to the UCPD website. This website contains information and data on UCPD activities, including traffic stops and field interviews. For additional information about criminal activity in the UCPD patrol district or other areas of Chicago, you can visit CrimeReports.com

If you have any questions or concerns about your safety, please feel free to contact me.