Combining super police powers

Our police departments should work together to alert the University community.

The University Police Department issued a crime alert Monday to students, faculty and staff members. The crime alert could serve the University community better if the Minneapolis Police Department also issued these alerts.

The crime alert was in response to an armed robbery Friday near Shevlin Hall. Other incidents mentioned in the crime alert occurred in neighborhoods near campus. Because these other incidents occurred off campus, the Minneapolis police are responsible for dealing with them, not the University police.

This separation causes a few easily solved problems. First, since many students live in Marcy-Holmes and other surrounding neighborhoods, the robberies in these areas are important for students and the University community to be aware of. Because Minneapolis police are responsible for these areas, they should find a way to spread awareness about the incidents to protect the community. University Police Chief Greg Hestness said University police working with Minneapolis police to issue crime alerts is a good idea. Another small problem is that many students disregard e-mail from new sources such as the crime alert e-mail sent by University police. When students receive two or more e-mails a day from University officials, it is easy for them to be deleted before being read. The University Police Department realizes this, and doesn’t send crime alerts too often.

Many students simply need to be aware of the importance of these crime alerts. They are issued only when necessary, and students should know to take notice.Both police departments should look toward more open communication with their communities. A simple e-mail alert is enough for many, but not for everyone. Ideas for wider-reaching crime alerts include postings in buildings on and around campus or information on the University Web site. If University police and Minneapolis police could work more closely to issue crime alerts, both groups would benefit. The more aware people are of their surroundings, the better they will be able to protect themselves if incidents such as these were to happen to them.