When Police Chief Robert Lenahan sat down to talk to student media, he didn’t come prepared with a speech or a statement in order to look good. He didn’t have to. After the semester that the University Police had, all he needed to do was answer our questions.
As far as trends go on campus, things are looking up because crime is going down. Both violent crime and burglary have decreased in recent years. In 2007, the police investigated over 200 thefts. This year, they are on pace for only 100.
To go along with their daily successes, University Police also have a big bust to brag about. They caught Jesse Riker, otherwise known as Walter, in the process of tagging a university bus.
As suspected, police had been monitoring Walter’s fan site, which was closed down when Riker was caught. The site, which was created to “admire” the graffiti artist, may have actually helped the police. It documented his crimes, complete with photos and locations.
Police encouraged students to report any tags they see lingering around campus. “We might not know about all of them” said Lenahan. Reporting them could speed up their removal, but, unfortunately, because removing them may cause scratches on the glass or metal, it looks as though others could still be around for a while.
The UPD got their best news of all from Albany when, after only # years in existence, they were accredited. They join 139 police departments, one being SUNY Buffalo, as accredited law enforcement agencies in New York.
Chief Lenahan described it as “highly complementary to be recognized by our peers throughout the state as a truly professional organization” President Stanley released a statement congratulating the department.
University Police have also been lucky enough to avoid budget cuts in a time when most departments in Facilities and Services are shrinking. Lenahan is glad that campus safety has been treated as a priority.