A letter to parents about campus safety

Dear Parent,

Campus safety and security measures remain a high priority at Puget Sound.

I am happy to report that the university has a low frequency of campus crimes. In addition to regular proactive security patrols on campus and in the immediate neighborhood, we provide periodic security updates to keep the campus community informed about events that have occurred and reminders about security services available on campus, such as 24-hour-a-day security escort services on campus and to/from areas near campus. Residence halls remain locked at all times. We routinely advise students about basic safety precautions, such as keeping individual residence room doors and windows locked, walking in groups and in lighted areas at night, and reporting suspicious circumstances to Security Services or to Tacoma Police. Our Security Services staff maintains a close working relationship with the Tacoma Police Department at all times, and is the only non-police entity in the Tacoma area with direct radio access to the police department.

That said, we have response plans in place for emergency situations and are prepared for effective crisis and natural disaster response. These include multiple means of emergency communications, including courtesy/emergency phones, Web site and back-up Web site functionality, campus email, campus-wide voice mail, an emergency information phone message number, multiple radio systems, and emergency TV/radio announcement connectivity.

Using campus security consultants, we conducted a formal audit of the adequacy and effectiveness of our campus security program in 1999. We added five patrol positions in conjunction with audit recommendations. There has not been a substantial change in the frequency of serious campus crimes since 1999; in fact, there has only been one other incident involving the taking of property under the threat or use of force reported since 1999. In addition, the most recent three-year survey of serious campus crimes at peer institutions both nationally and in the Pacific Northwest indicates that Puget Sound is a comparatively safe college campus, with a low incidence of crime.

In addition to crime prevention and safety measures, the university operates a Counseling, Health, and Wellness Center that maintains open office hours daily from 1 - 2 p.m. for students who wish to see a counselor about this or other issues of concern. Appointments also may be made by calling x1555. Campus Chaplain Dave Wright is also available to meet with students, either in his office in 3219 N. 13th St. (the little yellow house across from the Wheelock Student Center parking lot, or by calling x2751.

While campus crime frequency is low, we will remain vigilant in maintaining campus safety. Please feel free to contact us if you would like more information about campus security services and programs. A link to the university's emergency response plan is available from the home page of our Web site and at www.pugetsound.edu/emergency. Additional information is provided for your reference in the Campus Safety Summary.

Allison Cannady-Smith

Director of Alumni and Parent Relations