Progress Update: Task Force on Community Safety and Well-Being

The safety and well-being of our campus and neighboring communities is our top priority, and the university continues to implement a series of recommendations that were made as part of the Task Force on Community Safety and Well-Being.

The Task Force, created in fall 2020, is composed of students, faculty, staff, public safety officials and city and community partners. With a central guiding point that “safety” means different things to different people, the Task Force developed a comprehensive list of 15 recommendations that include a variety of strategies from community outreach and engagement to public safety staffing.

Since the creation of the Task Force in the fall 2020, immediate efforts have included:

  • Extended hours and promotion of the Lyft Ride Smart program to provide students with additional, low-cost access to late night transportation.
  • Immediate lighting repairs along with a lighting survey for longer-term enhancements.
  • Increased patrols in the off-campus areas that our students live in, using a combination of University Police and the Columbus Division of Police officers, as well as members of Community Crime Patrol. These added patrols will continue through the end of Spring semester.
  • Expanded surveillance coverage in the off-campus neighborhoods.
  • Issued a student safety survey to gauge the overall perception of safety both on and off campus as well as awareness of Ohio State’s resources and programs. Survey results are being analyzed and, when finalized, results will be used to inform future recommendations.
  • Developed an ongoing plan to consistently promote safety tools and resources.

The Task Force work also includes long-term recommendations designed to influence the overall safety culture both on and off-campus. Progress to date includes:

  • Expanding on OSUPD’s community policing programs and initiatives, with a special focus on outreach and interactions with marginalized groups. A Student Safety Dialogue was held Thursday, April 22 at 6 p.m. where students had the opportunity to share what safety means to them to a panel of university and external representatives.
  • Enhanced cultural diversity training for OSUPD. Most recently, police supervisors attended and have graduated from a 6-week online leadership course from the National Center for Civil and Human Rights called, “Promoting and Protecting Civil and Human Rights.”
  • Longer-term plans to increase the staffing of OSUPD to allow for more joint patrol coverage and increased presence of OSUPD officers East of High Street.
  • Create and launch a safety class targeted for community members living off-campus. In partnership with CPD, this course will teach self-defense tactics, crime safety, risk reduction and risk avoidance, and using resources that contribute to safety.

The safety of all Buckeyes remains our top priority. To see the full list of Task Force recommendations, please visit our website.