Crime Prevention

To: Faculty, Staff, and Students
From: Chief Rudy Nimocks, University of Chicago Police Department
Date: October 22, 2008

In the Fall we typically experience a temporary increase in criminal activity around our campus, and this year is no exception. I'm writing to encourage you to use the resources the University has put in place to help protect you and make it less likely you will become a victim of crime.

Student Government representatives, in collaboration with the offices of Civic Engagement, Human Resources, and the Vice President and Dean of Students, have scheduled three campus forums on safety:

  • October 27, 4:30 p.m., Law School Auditorium
  • October 29, 12:30 p.m., Biological Science and Learning Center, Room 115
  • October 29, 4:30 p.m., Reynolds Club McCormick Tribune Lounge

All members of the University community are invited to attend one of these forums to learn more about safety tips and resources.

Although violent crime in the UCPD coverage area is down so far this year compared to previous years, the increase in activity we have seen over the last several weeks prompts me to write. We have seen patterns of activity, especially robberies, in the area bounded by Ellis Avenue and Hyde Park Blvd. and between 52nd and 59th Streets, with the majority north of 55th Street. These crimes typically occurred between 7:30 p.m. and 3 a.m., with particular clusters 7:30-8:30 p.m. and 1:45-2:45 a.m. We have targeted police coverage in this area, and since September 1, University and City Police have arrested 10 individuals on robbery charges related to incidents in our coverage area.

I encourage you to use the transportation services provided by the University to ensure you do not have to walk alone after dark:

Free circular shuttle

Stops every 7-12 minutes along two routes: one running north and south, counterclockwise via Ellis, 60th, Woodlawn, 59th, University and 55th; and one running east and west, clockwise via 57th, Stony Island, 60th, and Cottage Grove.

Hours: Sunday-Wednesday, 5 p.m.-midnight; Thursday-Saturday, 5 p.m.-6 a.m.

SafeRide

Call 773.702.2022 to request a van ride to and from your specific location. Coverage area is 64th to 39th Streets and Lake Shore Drive to Cottage Grove Avenue.

Hours: Sunday-Wednesday, 5 p.m.-4 a.m.; Thursday-Saturday, 5 p.m.-6 a.m.

Umbrella service

If you are within the UCPD coverage area and feel uncomfortable with your surroundings, call 773.702.8181 to request a patrol car to accompany you as you walk to your destination. Public safety coordinators also are available to provide escorts on request.

Regular bus service

Free bus rides for University students, faculty, staff and medical Center employees with a valid UChicago ID card.

If you decide to walk, we encourage you to take note of the following safety tips:

  • Plan your way in advance. Choose well-traveled routes. Use discretion when talking or walking with strangers, even if they are offering you help or assistance. Always keep moving toward your destination. Walk with purpose.
  • When possible, try to travel with friends, whether it is daytime or evening. There is safety in numbers.
  • Avoid deserted areas. Do not cut through parks, alleys, and vacant lots. If you think you are being followed, cross the street, change direction, or go to a public place where others are present.
  • If a person confronts you and demands your money or possessions, give what is demanded and create a safe distance.
  • Keep alert. Don't let a conversation on your cell phone or the use of headphones make you unaware of your surroundings.

Please see additional safety resources and tips. Our annual report on campus safety, Common Sense, is available online or from the University of Chicago Police Department at 5555 S. Ellis Avenue. As always, I welcome your thoughts about additional steps we can take to improve the security of our neighborhoods. Questions or comments may be directed to ucpd-pio@uchicago.edu.