Texas State University Safety and Security Initiatives
An email from President Denise Trauth to Students, Faculty, and Staff
January 21, 2020
Dear Members of our University Community,
We are all members of an incredibly vibrant and growing community here at Texas State University. Feeling safe and secure is critical to the continued success of this special place where we live, learn, work, and grow.
As the spring semester begins, I want to reiterate that making our Texas State campuses safe and secure for our students, faculty, and staff is my top priority.
To that end, I want to share some of the steps we have taken to enhance safety and security across our university:
- We have strengthened the University Police Department (UPD) through increased staffing and improved retention of commissioned police officers to increase coverage on our campuses.
- We added safety training programs for students, faculty, and staff.
- We have continued to add lighting across both campuses based on feedback from our community and the nighttime campus safety walks we do each semester. This is in addition to a $1.6 million lighting upgrade project due to be completed in January 2020 on the San Marcos Campus.
- This semester, we are hiring a new university communications specialist who will be dedicated to providing rapid notifications and emergency communications related to campus safety.
- We are transitioning the existing safety and security task force to become a permanent standing committee to evaluate and recommend personal safety and security initiatives.
- We are in the process of assessing our 844-camera video surveillance system, particularly focusing on residence halls and parking garages.
- We will continue to expand resources for our students, such as the new Safe Ride program launched in the fall of 2019 to provide security escorts on the San Marcos Campus from 10:30 p.m. to 7 a.m., Bobcat Bobbies campus security escorts, and the RAVE Guardian app.
- UPD has begun the process of seeking accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA), which takes several years to complete. CALEA accreditation will give our university community confidence that the department is adhering to best practices and staying abreast of the most recent advances in law enforcement.
We have additional improvements planned for the summer and fall:
- Over the summer, we’ll continue to enhance fire and smoke detection and alarm equipment in our residence halls to ensure we have the best systems in place.
- To increase the capacity of our Counseling Center, we are adding two new counselors by the start of the 2020 fall semester.
- Beginning in the 2020 fall semester, we will enhance staffing in all residence halls to ensure there is an employee present during overnight hours.
As we look to the next several years, we plan to build a new home for UPD on the western end of our San Marcos Campus adjacent to our largest residence halls in order to facilitate closer interaction with students. That new building is in the design stage. Next year, we plan to relocate UPD on the Round Rock Campus to provide more visibility for community policing.
It is also important that we each take precautions to make ourselves and our community safe and secure, such as keeping doors locked, staying alert, and reporting any suspicious activity to UPD.
Safety and security will continue to be an ongoing discussion as we work together to make Texas State safer for all Bobcats. I look forward to updating you on the progress we make on these initiatives and others.
Denise M. Trauth