UW police to review emergency response plan

2013-01-13T23:05:00Z UW police to review emergency response planBy JOSHUA ROBERTS Laramie Boomerang The Billings Gazette
January 13, 2013 11:05 pm  • 

LARAMIE, Wyo. — An average year for the University of Wyoming Police Department entails officers responding to about 12,000 total calls — 2,000 criminal and 10,000 non-criminal.

UW Police Chief Mike Samp described 2012 as an average year for the campus law enforcement agency. Year-end numbers are currently being compiled and won't be available until March, the police chief said.

He said the more serious crimes last year included sexual assaults and a high volume of larcenies and burglaries. Statistical data in the year-end report should shed more light on crime trends, he added.

UWPD includes 14 full-time, sworn police officers that operate year-round.

The department also monitors university property statewide.

One change for UWPD in 2013, Samp says, is the campus Police Department will be able to utilize its Campus Resource Officer, a designated crime prevention specialist, full time.

Officer Aaron Appelhans recently completed certification, the police chief said, allowing him to operate as the resource officer. The position's responsibilities include coordinating trainings for the public, serving as a liaison to campus groups and conducting safety orientation for new students, among other duties.

"Hopefully, we'll see some results in a lesser number of crimes and (benefits) in primary prevention," said Samp, who has been police chief for six months and worked for UWPD for 15 years. "It'll also free up some of the staff (who) were assisting in those areas."

One immediate project for UWPD this year is a review of its Emergency Response Plan, a 44-page document that outlines "potential issues and concerns the campus community may encounter during an emergency."

The plan applies to all UW facilities and operations on the primary campus and in Laramie, according to the document.

Its purpose is to address four primary areas — life safety, preservation of property, protection and preservation of "mission critical" programs and functions and compliance with federal, state and local regulations.

Samp said the plan will be reviewed for UW staffers.

The plan, according to the document, is an "active work in progress and is subject to revisions."

"While it serves the university as a whole, the plan is a management guide for those with key assignments and responsibilities during emergency activations," according to the report. "Its potential effectiveness is dependent upon broad input from the campus community, and all units of the university are urged to become familiar with the concepts, policies and procedures outlined."

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