Crystal Brown 301-405-4618
COLLEGE PARK, Md. – University, county and city leaders today announced a major expansion of community safety efforts in College Park. Highlighting the effort is the expanded role of the University of Maryland Police Department (UMPD) in the surrounding community, adding new UMPD officers and vehicles that will begin patrols in a wider area of College Park, effective immediately. The expansion of ‘concurrent jurisdiction’ is a cooperative effort between UMPD and the Prince Georges County Police Department (PGPD).
The new public safety initiatives are part the implementation of the University District Vision 2020, a plan requested by university president Wallace Loh and College Park Mayor Andrew Fellows. They take effect immediately.
“The University of Maryland is one of the County’s largest and most important stakeholders in Prince George’s County,” said Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III. “It is imperative for the safety of the students, staff, visitors, and communities around the University that collaboration amongst public safety officials is seamless. The launch of these new initiatives is a model of positive cooperation and will ultimately serve as a significant enhancement for the citizens of Prince George’s County.”
UMPD will now join PGPD patrols in the neighborhoods of Lakeland, Berwyn, Crystal Springs, Calvert Hills and an expanded stretch of Route 1. (Click here to view the expanded jurisdiction map.) The expansion into these areas will be supported by eight new UMPD officers, new vehicles and the installation by the City of additional security cameras to detect and investigate crimes.
“Together we make a powerful team and will keep improving our record of safety,” said Wallace Loh, president of the University of Maryland. “Safety is our first priority, and these new initiatives will contribute to the transformation of College Park into a premier college town.”
The expansion of public safety measures follows on the already-declining crime statistics in College Park. Over the past five years, crime incidents have declined by almost 22 percent, including in areas such as burglary, robbery and motor vehicle theft.
“We’re proud that we already have a safe community – this will make our residents, visitors and work force even safer,” said Andrew Fellows, mayor of College Park. “We’re grateful to the University and our County for partnering with us on this focus on public safety.”
In addition, the university’s Code of Student Conduct will now expand citywide and beyond. To promote responsible behavior at all times, the Code will now apply to student behavior both on- and off-campus. A new public awareness campaign, ‘Be Smart, Be Safe,’ was also launched.
“The joint public safety strategy we announced today is a big deal,” said Senator Jim Rosapepe (D, College Park) and chair of the College Park City/University Partnership, “but it’s just one part of the University District Vision 2020. For example, College Park Academy, the Purple Line, and redevelopment of Route 1 are all on track – and there’s more to come!"
"The University and the community are doing a great deal to cooperate to enhance public safety for students and residents alike,” said Eric Olson, County Councilmember, District 3.
The new public safety initiatives are part the implementation of the University District Vision 2020, a plan requested by university president Wallace Loh and College Park major Andrew Fellows and endorsed by the university and College Park City Council in 2012. Details of Vision 2020 can be found here.