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A Message Regarding Campus Safety and Security from Vice President Zick

The following message was distributed to the campus community on Monday afternoon, February 25th.

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Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

In recent weeks, we have heard concern from members of the University community about campus safety and security. Incidents on and off campus this academic year have prompted discussion at the highest levels of the University. Although most of the incidents have occurred off campus, we are taking steps to address residential and automobile break-ins, automobile thefts, home invasions, property thefts, unauthorized access to campus, and other crimes. Recently, perpetrators near campus have carried weapons.

We have used every campus resource available to investigate and respond to incidents affecting campus safety and security. We have offered our full and steady cooperation to Winston-Salem police when criminal activity off campus has touched our University community members. And, fortunately, the Winston-Salem Police Department has responded to our concerns, boosting the number of patrols near campus and sharing information with University officials.

Among the recent security improvements:

  • We have added security to patrol certain north campus parking lots every night.
  • We have added security to patrol the north campus residential facilities every night.
  • We have increased patrols by University police officers in the north campus area.
  • Winston-Salem police have increased patrols in the nearby off-campus areas.
  • We have made University security officers available to escort resident advisors in the north campus area while making evening rounds.

This past weekend, we saw the immediate benefit of these additional measures. A University security officer was on the scene within seconds of an attempted break-in early Sunday morning at Martin Residence Hall. The security officer witnessed two men fleeing the scene and assisted a University police officer arriving on the scene two minutes after the initial report. In approximately 30 minutes, the officer had identified two suspects. By Sunday night, University Police obtained criminal summons for the suspects. A Wake Forest student and a visitor from another university have been charged with attempted breaking and entering.

Additional improvements to campus safety are underway. The University has approved a new fencing plan for the northern quadrant of the campus. Final details for the fencing are being developed now, but potential features may include a pedestrian turnstile with some high-tech enhancements. The fence, combined with additional security officers, will help address recent concerns about unauthorized vehicles and pedestrians bypassing the campus gatehouses at night to enter campus.

Communication remains a top priority for University Police. Recently, the University Police Department teamed with Residence Life and Housing to distribute a flyer filled with safety tips to students in the north campus area and those living off campus. Officers have gone door to door at University-owned houses off-campus and at north campus residence halls to speak with students. The University is communicating regularly with students and others through its Facebook page, offering safety tips and updates on crimes and University and Winston-Salem police responses to incidents. Using the campus e-mail system, the University has issued crime alerts to students, staff and faculty.

Additionally, this year, the University Police Department launched its Safer Campus mobile app available for free on iPhone and Android devices. The Safer Campus mobile app enables students, faculty and staff to submit a tip to police, live chat with a police communications officer 24/7, view a campus map and receive safety tweets from police.

All are encouraged to visit the University’s emergency notification website called Wake Alert at wakealert.wfu.edu. A related website is Wake Ready at wakeready.wfu.edu.

The University begins providing valuable, practical safety education to students from the time they enroll. Those efforts continue throughout their time at Wake Forest. One of the messages communicated throughout these efforts is the importance of students taking a reasonable measure of personal responsibility for their property and personal safety by locking doors and being aware of their surroundings.

Anyone with suggestions for improving safety and security at Wake Forest may send an email to University Police Chief Regina Lawson at lawsonrg@nullwfu.edu.

Sincerely,

Ken Zick
Vice President and Dean for Student Affairs