Ohio State News Alert: New resources to enhance community safety

The Ohio State University is enhancing safety and security resources on and around the Columbus campus.

These enhancements, led by Acting President Peter Mohler, are part of the university’s ongoing, holistic review of safety for students, faculty and staff. The investment adds to the current annual campus public safety budget of more than $35 million.

Ohio State leaders will continue to work closely with the city of Columbus to evaluate off-campus safety measures in the University District, where the Columbus Division of Police (CPD) has jurisdiction.

“The health and safety of our university community is our top priority,” Mohler said. “We will continue to evaluate ways to improve our approach to safety on campus and in the surrounding neighborhoods. These new measures reflect that commitment.”

Effective immediately, the university will significantly expand the crime interdiction program, working with the city to increase evening and nighttime off-campus CPD patrols during fall and spring semesters.

These expanded police patrols will provide additional visibility throughout the University District. Specific patrol locations will be adjusted based on neighborhood needs and other real-time information

In addition to CPD’s expanded off-campus police patrols, the university authorized:

  • The Ohio State University Police Division (OSUPD) to hire five additional police officers to create a total force of 75 officers. OSUPD will begin recruitment immediately. Two of the positions will support ongoing CPD and OSUPD joint patrols in the University District, and the city has committed resources for these additional joint patrols. These officers are in addition to the nine hired since January 2022 to increase patrols on and off campus.
  • The purchase of additional mobile surveillance cameras.
  • Continued support for the license plate reader program and video storage.
  • Renewal of Buckeye Block Watch, offering foot patrols in targeted University District areas. The program features non-police security teams who are taught how to deal with difficult situations and learn best practices for public engagement, including mental health responses, first aid and CPR.

Campus Area Bus Service (CABS) On-Demand, which provides free transportation between campus buildings after 9 p.m., to add two stops on the east side of High Street, at University Square and South Campus Gateway.

“We are committed to working with our city partners, and we talk daily about crime and crime trends,” said Monica Moll, Ohio State’s director of public safety. “We are confident these increased resources will help Ohio State and our community partners make an impact in our effort to improve safety and security in the campus area.”

These additions support the safety enhancements put in place over the past two years, which have led to a decrease in crime both on and off campus. Existing safety enhancements that will continue include:

  • Additional lighting and cameras installed and used in combination with extra police and security patrols.
  • Added surveillance cameras at all campus parking garages. The university has more than 4,000 surveillance cameras on campus.
  • Additional fixed cameras installed and mobile cameras deployed off campus.

Sixty-three license plate reader cameras with coverage both on and off campus.The campus community can help by taking individual and collective action to promote a safer Ohio State. Resources for the campus community include:

  • The Community Crime Map, which consists of statistics from CPD and shows off-campus crime reports. Ohio State has preprogrammed the map to a 1-mile radius to include the crime reports from the most recent seven-day period. The Crime Map can also be programmed to send crime alerts in real time.
  • Free home and personal safety devices, including personal safety alarms for students, light timers, and window and door alarms. These devices are available Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Off-Campus and Commuter Student Engagement office located at 3106 Ohio Union.
  • Lyft Ride Smart at Ohio State, which offers eligible students discounted rides from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. inside an expanded university-designated service area. Ohio State contributes $4 per ride.

Stay Safe, Buckeyes, an online safety class that teaches students through scenario-based exercises and engaging videos. Students learn how to enhance their safety on their schedule.

More resources can be found on the Department of Public Safety website.