As the weather turns warmer, more members of the UMB community will be walking outside. Martinez Davenport, MS, interim chief of the UMB Police Force, thought it an appropriate time to discuss police patrols and remind us of changes that were enacted last fall. Here is his letter:
Last fall I alerted the University community to some changes to the way the University of Maryland, Baltimore Police Force patrols campus streets. Now, as the weather improves and we all spend more time walking around campus, those changes will become more apparent and a reminder seems in order.
In the past, sworn police officers could be seen standing in the same locations at the same times of the day. Those locations were chosen because of the amount of foot traffic in the area and other factors that indicated the greatest need for police presence. Although the officers’ consistent presence was a comfort for many, our experience showed us that this method of deployment was not the most effective way to maintain a safe and secure campus.
As a result, starting last October, we changed things just a bit. While our sworn police officers continue to provide service to these locations, they now have the autonomy to walk the area around the corners on which they were often stationary in the past. This change has given our officers greater flexibility to react to situations as they happen and to respond more effectively to suspicious activity. It has also had the effect of providing visible coverage to more of the campus.
I believe this change in tactics is already having a beneficial impact on campus security. So, please remember, when you pass by those familiar street corners today, you’ll still our officers on the beat much of the time. But if you don’t, you can be sure they are close by and keeping a sharp eye on things.
Martinez Q. Davenport, MS
Interim Chief, UMB Police Force