U shifts $4M to safety plan

The Board of Regents will vote to fund safety initiatives with facilities money this week.

Anne Millerbernd

The University of Minnesota’s Board of Regents will consider reallocating $4.1 million to fund campus safety initiatives at its meeting this week.

The money would come from the Facilities Management Repair and Replacement funds and be reinvested in the safety programs, according to a press release sent Friday.

The University has implemented a four-pronged plan to combat the recent uptick in brazen and violent crimes on and around campus. To date, University police have sent 18 crime alerts for 24 crimes committed on or near campus since the beginning of the school year, compared to 10 alerts for 13 crimes during the 2012-13 school year.

If approved, the funds will go toward adding security cameras and improving building security and lighting on campus, according to the release. The money would also pay for increased police hours and student security monitors.

According to docket materials for the upcoming Regents meeting, the University plans to add 20 to 30 student staff members to the security monitor program and increase their pay.

The initiative also includes hosting a “Town Hall” for students to interact with administrators about public safety Feb. 26, according the docket.

So far, the University has increased Campus Connector hours, added a Weekend Circulator and changed some of the lighting on campus. It also launched a building access pilot program that’s testing closing seven West Bank buildings at certain hours to improve safety.

The University is also putting new light bulbs in some streetlights along University Avenue Southeast to increase brightness in the area.

The Minneapolis Police Department will add seven new officers this month to the 2nd Precinct, which includes neighborhoods around the University.