University of Maryland campuswide crime dropped by 4.47 percent in 2021, according to a Tuesday email from UMPD Police Chief David Mitchell.
There was also a four percent decrease in overall property crimes on campus, Mitchell said. He went on to detail new and ongoing initiatives this university’s police department is supplementing.
The police department will begin a new partnership with Lights On!, a community-based program where officers will be able to provide repair vouchers to drivers instead of parking tickets for broken lights.
Each voucher can be used for a free repair of up to $250. Drivers will be able to use the vouchers at University Gas 2 Go, located on Route 1.
This university’s police department is the first in the state to partner with the Lights On! program, according to police spokesperson Sgt. Rosanne Hoaas.
The department has also piloted a Crisis Intervention Team. Mitchell said 12 police officers at this university have been trained in crisis intervention and de-escalation techniques.
All police officers at this university receive some form of crisis training, Mitchell said. But the 12 officers involved in the new program have additional training in identifying symptoms of mental illnesses and co-occurring disorders and recognizing when those symptoms represent a crisis situation.
Officers also received training in utilizing community resources and diversion strategies that provide emergency assistance, Mitchell said.
The university community will also soon have the opportunity to meet Teddy the Terp, UMPD’s new comfort dog. Students and campus groups can reserve time with Teddy for campus events or one-on-one sessions via email, Mitchell said.
Mitchell also introduced UMPD’s three newest K-9 members: Hera, Hercules and Buzz. They will join UMPD’s other two K-9 unit members, Spud and Buddy.