A message from University of Oregon Chief of Police Matt Carmichael | See an update of recent action at the bottom of this message, posted March 19, 2018
I wanted to share some information about the recent issue of off-campus crime, and how law enforcement is responding, as well as steps students can take to protect themselves. Besides being the chief of police, I'm also a parent of two UO students. Student safety is my absolute priority.
While the reports of off-campus robberies or other serious crimes are concerning, all UO community members should know that these are still very rare, and all but unheard of within the campus boundaries.
Eugene Police, the lead agency for off-campus incidents like these, are investigating, searching for suspects, and encouraging people to share information. UOPD is working with EPD, sharing information and planning, and I have directed our detectives to prioritize these cases, and to support Eugene's investigations in every way possible.
I have added extra UOPD officers to our patrol shifts and increased our near-campus presence, especially at night. We have added both human and electronic surveillance in areas of concern.
My goal is to protect our students on- or off-campus and that is why we are devoting resources to helping the Eugene Police Department. However, the UOPD focus will always be protecting the core campus and university housing.
The UO encourages students, at all times, to take advantage of safety resources to help make sure they get home safely.
These resources include:
- Safe Ride (advance-scheduled rides free for UO students and employees; operates on- and off-campus); call 541-346-RIDE ext. 2
- Designated Driver Shuttle (rides at need to prevent intoxicated travel, free for UO students; operates on- and off-campus); call 541-346-RIDE ext. 1
- To serve more students and address service wait times, including those who don't wish to schedule a ride ahead, UOPD and the Division of Student Life have partnered since the start of 2018 to run a pilot UO Campus Shuttle (https://map.uoregon.edu/campus-shuttle), a van service on a fixed route around campus that goes by designated stops bus-style, every 20 minutes. The shuttle has just expanded its service to seven days per week, and doubled its ride capacity on Thursday through Saturday evenings.
- UOPD Escorts (police officers, security officers, or student security assistants who can walk people from one campus location to another at any time), including Barnhart and Riley residence halls; call 541-346-2919 when the other services are not operating.
I also want you to know that the UO is making constant, and recent, improvements to its student ride programs.
In 2017-18, UOPD assumed professional management of the UO's long-standing Safe Ride and Designated Driver Shuttle programs that help students get home safely (541-346-RIDE).
Since UOPD took over management of the ride programs, average rides per month have increased about 440 percent. Together, Safe Ride, DDS, and the UO Campus Shuttle provide about 5,000 student rides per month.
We have recently increased vehicles, capacity, routes, and hours for our programs, including operating the fixed-route UO Campus Shuttle seven days per week, with doubled capacity on Thursday through Saturday evenings.
These ride shuttle resources are still free to students. The programs continue to be staffed and guided by UO students, but operated to expand service and utilization, and increase efficiency and reliability.
Ride-share services like Lyft and Uber are still not legal in Eugene, but I have working with the university to encourage the City of Eugene to change this situation.
This is critical: I urge our students to let law enforcement know about crimes or suspicious conditions IMMEDIATELY. And BY PHONE. In emergencies call 9-1-1. Non-emergencies call UOPD at 541-346-2919, or off-campus call Eugene Police at 541-682-5111.
The UO has staff available 24 hours a day to support and respond to students in crisis. Call 541-346-SAFE or visit safe.uoregon.edu.
Again, on or off campus our student safety is my priority. I will do whatever it takes to assist the Eugene Police Department. Thank you again for sharing your concerns, and don't hesitate to call me personally on my cell with questions or suggestions at 541-915-3248 (please don't use this for emergencies; call 9-1-1).
Matt Carmichael, Chief of Police
University of Oregon Police Department
Update: March 19, 2018
Some steps UOPD has been taking in recent days to provide more off-campus security to UO students:
UOPD has contracted with private security to provide four unarmed (non-sworn) security officers to patrol city streets near campus starting Sunday, until further notice.
UOPD has added extra officers dedicated to patrolling city streets near campus. UOPD is working with the Oregon Department of Justice to install neighborhood cameras early this week. Eugene Police are extra officers in the area evenings and overnight.
The UO Campus Shuttle has expanded its hours and is running 5 p.m.-1 a.m. daily. A 25-person bus has been added to the shuttle fleet to boost capacity.
The UO is developing a security plan to help students get safely to early-morning airport shuttle stops on campus, for departing Eugene for spring break.