Here's something those new CU cops can do with their time

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With students returning to the University of Colorado at Boulder campus for the fall semester, the Boulder Police Department is stepping up DUI patrols -- and the CU cops will be out in greater force, too. The university department has added six more officers as part of an overall plan to reduce crime on campus. Meanwhile, the BPD is ballyhooing a bust not far from the school, during which a cop riding a bike on the Boulder Creek path stumbled on a robbery in progress, leading to the arrest of three men and the relief of the victim, who'd been trying to have a picnic. Have a good semester, kids!

Read the uncommonly detailed BPD account of the arrests plus a synopsis of CU's new safety plan below.

Boulder Police Department release:

Police arrest three after officer interrupts robbery

Boulder police arrested three men on Wednesday, Aug. 19, after an officer patrolling the Boulder Creek Path in the 800 block of Canyon Boulevard discovered a robbery in progress. The three suspects fled but were located and arrested a short while later.

Officer Ryan McAuley was riding on the path at about 7:50 p.m. when he heard what sounded like a disturbance. The officer dismounted his bike and crouched behind some bushes to see if he could determine what was occurring. He observed one man, later identified as Orlando Ordaz, 19, of Lafayette, searching the pockets of another man. Two other suspects were nearby. The officer could see that two suspects were holding beer bottles. After a short while, one of the suspects noticed the officer, so McAuley stepped out to talk to the group. The victim yelled for help and indicated he was being robbed.

Ordaz, the suspect seen rummaging through the victim's pockets, ran. Officer McAuley ran after him. Ordaz crossed the creek on foot and McAuley lost sight of him, but the officer was able to air a description. Sheriff's deputies subsequently located Ordaz hiding behind some vehicles in the 800 block of Arapahoe Avenue.

The two other suspects were arrested by other Boulder police officers. Leonardo Alfredo Herrera, 25, of Lafayette, was taken into custody along the Boulder Creek Path in the 600 block of Canyon Boulevard. Abel Rodriguez, 21, of Louisville, was located in the 1700 block of 7th Street.

The victim, Eric James Bussineau, 26, told investigators he was confronted by the men while at a picnic table along the Creek Path. According to Bussineau, Rodriguez tried to wrap something around his neck. Bussineau was able to push the item away. Bussineau indicated he would give the group his belongings and was in the process of doing that when Officer McAuley arrived.

Herrera and Rodriguez were booked into the jail on charges of aggravated robbery and criminal conspiracy. Ordaz was booked into the jail on charges of aggravated robbery, criminal conspiracy and obstruction.

University of Colorado at Boulder release:

CU Releases Results of UCSU Safety Survey, Announces New Safety Initiatives

August 20, 2009

The University of Colorado at Boulder today released results from the University of Colorado Student Union (UCSU) spring 2009 safety survey and announced a number of new safety initiatives, including improvements to campus lighting and transportation systems and the addition of six CU police officers.

The survey was administered to gather information to facilitate the design and implementation of future strategies for increasing campus and community-wide safety, according to UCSU Tri-Executive Tom Higginbotham.

"We're focusing our efforts on strengthening the relationship between UCSU and the administration, which will help us to tackle these and other tough issues with improved communication, collaboration and coordination," Higginbotham said.

In the survey, 89.3 percent of respondents reported feeling "very safe" or "somewhat safe" on campus and 74.4 percent of respondents reported feeling "very safe" or "somewhat safe" in the community surrounding campus, according to Eva Hueber, who was the UCSU director of neighborhood/city relations at the time of the survey and who oversaw its compilation.

The survey was answered voluntarily by 2,345 students, faculty and staff, but the sample was not representative, Hueber said. Female respondents outnumbered male respondents two to one and likely influenced the results.

In conjunction with UCSU, the Safety Initiatives Coalition, a collaborative group of representatives from both CU and city of Boulder organizations, conducted the online survey in March of this year. The organization intends to make the survey an annual event.

While the majority of respondents reported feeling safe on campus and in the surrounding community, the data indicated that women feel more vulnerable than men, on campus and in the city of Boulder. Members of UCSU and the Safety Initiatives Coalition concluded that the campus community's perception of campus safety can be improved through enhanced institutional safety measures and improved communication among CU administrators, employees and students, Higginbotham said.

When asked to list how they could feel safer on campus, respondents commonly requested increased lighting and police presence, and additional options for late-night transportation and parking.

"We've identified several ways to make better use of existing infrastructure while at the same time providing safer options for students," said Frank Bruno, vice chancellor for administration. "The student government and the Safety Initiatives Coalition have played a key role here, helping us to identify potentially unsafe areas on campus in terms of lighting, foliage and other factors."

CU is responding to the respondents' suggestions with both pre-existing programs and with new ideas, Bruno said.

With the Preventative Maintenance Program managed by CU's Office of Facilities Management, the campus is divided into lighting zones. Under a new monthly evaluation schedule, a work request is automatically generated for an electrician to check all of the lights in the scheduled zone.

"We had been checking these areas, but on an irregular schedule," said Bruno. "The students were helpful in identifying that the irregular evaluation schedule was having a possible impact on safety, so we're grateful to them for helping us make that improvement."

The CU-Boulder Police Department last year began the hiring and training of six additional police officers, Bruno said. The expansion of personnel will allow the department to eventually implement a "platoon" strategy that will enhance community policing, increase the training of officers and expand officers' abilities to interact with the community.

"It will take us at least two years to bring the platoon system into full use, since the training required to create platooning is quite extensive," said Bruno. "But it's an important step that will upgrade our police presence on campus and in the areas adjacent to campus."

The CUPD, in collaboration with UCSU, also is considering a campus safe-transportation pilot program to increase security presence throughout campus while simultaneously providing transportation for members of the campus community engaged in late-night academic or work-related activities.

In order to address concerns about late-night parking options, Parking and Transportation Services is reviewing options for parking near Norlin Library to accommodate the library's new hours. Possibilities include a late-night parking permit for nearby lots, extending the hours of the Euclid Avenue Autopark and providing short-term, after-hours parking along Colorado Avenue, Bruno said.

FACT SHEET ON NEW CU-BOULDER SAFETY INITIATIVES

Fall 2009

o In the fall of 2008, members of the University of Colorado Student Union (UCSU) formed the Safety Initiatives Coalition, a monthly meeting of representatives from safety-oriented organizations and departments on campus and in the city of Boulder. The goal is to increase efficiency and communication between groups and to better coordinate projects and responses.

o With input from the Safety Initiatives Coalition, UCSU developed and administered a safety survey in order to gather the necessary information to facilitate the design and implementation of strategies for increasing campus and communitywide safety. UCSU analyzed and took action on the results, and has subsequently revised, tested and prepared the survey for annual distribution.

o The CU-Boulder Police Department has begun the hiring of six additional police officers. The expansion of personnel will allow for the department to implement a platoon strategy, which will serve to enhance community policing roles, increase training of officers and expand officers' abilities to interact with the community. Timeline: Present - 2011

o Facilities Management instituted a new Preventative Maintenance program that ensures exterior lighting is properly maintained by issuing the electrician automatic work requests for rotating zones throughout campus. Timeline: Present-Fall 2009

o CUPD and UCSU are looking at possible campus safe-transportation pilot programs that will provide on-campus transportation throughout the night to students, faculty and staff. Direct communication and coordination between drivers and police will increase security presence and patrol capabilities throughout campus. The availability of on-campus transportation also will decrease demands on CU Night Ride, allowing the program to focus its efforts off-campus. Timeline: Spring 2010.

o In order to address concerns about late-night parking options, Parking and Transportation Services is reviewing options for parking near Norlin Library to accommodate the library's new hours. Possibilities include a late-night parking permit for nearby lots, extending the hours of the Euclid Avenue Autopark and providing short-term after-hours parking along Colorado Avenue.

o The Bystander Intervention program was kicked off during New Student Orientation 2009. The new presentation encourages students to take responsibility for the safety of their peer group and teaches them the skills necessary to intervene in certain situations before they escalate. Timeline: Summer 2009-Ongoing

o University Communications redeveloped the CU Safety Web site (www.colorado.edu/safety) to make safety information, resources, and services more available and accessible to members of the campus community. Environmental Health and Safety also has created a brand new Web site (www.colorado.edu/ehs). It is a comprehensive resource for safety relating to hazardous and emergency situations, campus closures and other events that impact the environmental health and safety of the CU community.

o Off-Campus Student Services, in conjunction with UCSU, funded the creation of campus and off-campus lighting and late-night transportation maps as a safety aid for members of the CU community. Timeline: Fall 2009

o UCSU recently approved the funding for a sixth vehicle to be added to the CU NightRide program. This additional vehicle allows for an increase in rider capacity for the student-run safe transportation program.

o Facilities Management has reinstituted the Eyes and Ears Program, in all Facilities Management employees are available as an emergency communication resource by radioing for help and will stay close by until help arrives. Some employees have volunteered to undergo optional First Aid and CPR training to be able to provide additional assistance at their own discretion. Timeline: Fall 2009-Ongoing

o Facilities Management has elected to revegetate the 22nd Street trail due to the expense and difficulty of properly maintaining it. Funding also has been set aside to renovate the 19th Street trail to make it safer and more accommodating pathway from the CU-Boulder campus to the Boulder Creek Path. Timeline: Summer 2010

o Facilities Management and Parking and Transportation Services are collaborating on a plan to address safety concerns related to dense tree growth and poor visibility by lot 396. Possible actions include a wrought-iron fence or removing about 10 linear feet of trees and brush from the edge of the lot. Timeline: Fall 2009

Ongoing Safety Programs

The University of Colorado at Boulder and the city of Boulder have collaborated for several years on programs and practices designed to help prevent personal injuries and crimes against students, faculty, staff and visitors to the campus and surrounding city. As new students move onto campus, local safety experts are encouraging the university community to get familiar with safety guidelines, recommendations and services that can help keep the campus safe, including a text-messaging alert system.

CU-Boulder campus safety measures previously in place include:

o The CU-Boulder Police Department employs 40 full-time officers who patrol the campus and respond to reports of emergencies and crimes 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Students should call 9-1-1 for police, medical and fire emergencies both on and off campus, and 303-492-6666 for non-emergencies on campus and 303-441-3333 for non-emergencies off campus.

o During orientation, new students learn about crime reporting and personal safety resources and how to obtain more safe-living tips in "A Guide to Residence Hall Living," "Ralphie's Guide" and the CU phone directory among other materials. Residence hall advisers, the campus catalog, the CU Safety Web site, and the Off-Campus Student Services office also can help students with safety issues.

o CU-Boulder uses an emergency text alert system to notify the campus in case of emergencies. Campus administrators encourage all students, faculty and staff to sign up for the service to receive breaking news about campus emergencies. To access the system, the CU-Boulder community should go to cuconnect.colorado.edu/ or www.colorado.edu/alerts.

o More than 50 emergency phone kiosks are located across the main campus, East Campus, Williams Village and Bear Creek Apartments and in the Regent Drive and Euclid Avenue parking lots. Students and others can use them to connect to campus police to report crimes in progress, suspicious persons, medical emergencies or concerns about personal safety.

o The CU Rape and Gender Education Program, or COURAGE, uses interactive education, peer-facilitated programs and campuswide campaigns to raise sexual violence awareness. For information, call 303-492-4339.

o CU NightRide, created by UCSU, offers free, nighttime escorts to students, staff and faculty around campus and anywhere within the Boulder city limits. To request a ride, call 303-492-7233.

o For a more complete listing of safety programs, visit www.colorado.edu/police and www.colorado.edu/safety.

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