EMU hires four officers, hopes to increase safety

Eastern Michigan University announced Friday it will be adding four more full-time officers to its police department.

The new hires will bring the EMU Police Department’s total strength up to 37 people.

“The additional officers will allow us to fully maintain the effective safety operations we have in place on EMU’s campus at the same high level they are at today, while bringing additional resources to support our off-campus patrols,” EMU Chief of Police Bob Heighes said in a press release.

This is the latest measure taken by EMU to improve safety for its staff and students.Concerns about safety became a major issue for the community last month after a string of crimes against students occurred on and off campus that included multiple assaults, sexual assaults and the murder of football player Demarius Reed at his off-campus apartment.

Since then, EMU police made a deal with the Ypsilanti Police Department and Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Department to jointly patrol the area north of campus, where many of the crimes occurred.
“I think they’ve seen some results,” Geoff Larcom, EMU’s director of media relations, said. “There’s even been some arrests associated with those.”

According to Larcom, the university has not decided where specifically they will deploy these officers, and will speak with Washtenaw County, Ypsilanti Township and Ypsilanti Police Department officials to determine how they can best be utilized.

Larcom adds the expanded patrols will remain “indefinitely.”

“We are expanding our footprint,” Larcom said. “It’s not a pilot program. This is an expansion of EMU’s efforts to police and patrol the surrounding community and ensure the safety of staff and students in those surrounding areas.”

The university expects to have the four new officers hired and patrolling the community by mid-January 2014.

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