University of Toledo police officers don’t want students to only contact them when in trouble.
“Our number one priority is keeping students safe. The community is safer when we care and respect each other and work together to create a great campus experience for everyone,” said Jeff Newton, UT police chief and director of public safety.The officers will take the first step with a Meet the Office of Public Safety Event Thursday, Aug. 25, from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Varsity T Pavilion and nearby South Tennis Courts and South Basketball Courts.
The police officers, security staff, and safety and health officials in the Office of Public Safety invite students to check out their public safety vehicles, eat pizza, and challenge the staff in basketball, tennis, corn hole and other games.
“We’re looking forward to a fun event where we can get to know students better during the first week of classes and continue that positive momentum in the weeks and months ahead for a fun and safe year,” Newton said.
The conversations will continue with monthly “Pizza with the Police” events scheduled throughout the year across campus where students can meet officers, ask questions, and learn about resources available to them. Following the Aug. 25 kickoff, the next pizza event will be Thursday, Sept. 15, from 1 to 2 p.m. in Parks Tower’s main lobby.
Additional personal safety and self-defense courses also are scheduled during the first few weeks of classes for students, as well as faculty and staff, to learn tactics. The first class is Monday, Aug. 22, from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Health Education Building Gym on Main Campus. Additional classes will be Wednesday, Aug. 31, and Thursday, Sept. 8, at the same time and location.
The UT Police Department is working with faculty in the Center for Student Advocacy and Wellness and Department of Criminal Justice on a new one-credit, eight-week personal safety and wellness class that teaches these safety and self-defense tactics, as well as information on dating violence, healthy boundaries, alcohol and drug prevention, and first aid training.
The department also has new bicycles for officers to patrol campus and connect more closely with students in pedestrian areas.
UTPD will again offer ALICE training to the campus community this year. ALICE, which is an acronym that stands for alert, lockdown, inform, counter and evacuate, is a national program that instructs participants on how to survive an active shooter situation.
“ALICE is training we hope no one ever needs, but we provide it so that members of our community can be empowered with the knowledge to survive a violent encounter should they ever be in that situation,” Newton.
ALICE training sessions will be held twice a month, one on each campus, throughout fall semester and also can be scheduled for departments or student groups.
For more information about the UT Police Department and full schedule of the events, visit utoledo.edu/depts/police.