Every year before students return to campus, Marquette’s Department of Public Safety reaches out to alternative agencies in hope of receiving additional force. This year, the Milwaukee Sheriff’s Department offered its extra services to the university.
“We were pleasantly surprised when the sheriff’s office actually responded,” said Cpt. Russell Shaw. “I know (the Milwaukee Police Department) is certainly going to try and help us as much as they possibly can. It’s not something I would say is so out of the ordinary; it just so happens that county sheriffs are probably able to help us more than they have been able to in the past.”
Shaw said that the extra presence was needed once students started arriving back on campus. MPD and Sheriff David Clarke provided help during move-in and other activities over the course of the week. During the first weekend, DPS wrote up 40 incident reports. Of the of 40, 27 pertained to an alcohol-related incident.
“That’s a very large number, a very concerning number,” Shaw said. “I think our goal has always been to keep the students safe and students have to realize that when they are walking out on the streets with open intoxicants they are breaking the law.”
Marquette’s LIMO system also works with DPS to make campus a safer place. The help from the Milwaukee sheriff adds a new element for LIMO drivers.
Liz Heinrich, a LIMO driver and a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences, said in order to do her job more effectively, she will have to be in closer contact with the patrolling officers.
“We have to work together a lot more because there are so many more officers,” Heinrich said. “I can understand why they are doing it, but it can sometimes make it more difficult, and I don’t think we are actually seeing a change yet because it is so early in the year.”
Though there were more citations than average this past weekend, some students have not noticed much of a difference in enforcement on campus, Lindsay Bartel, a senior in the College of Education said.
Now that classes have started, whether the university will need the extra presence is still unknown. Ultimately, the additional aid from the county sheriff and MPD will depend on scheduling.
“We will always take any support we can,” Shaw said. “Do I expect them to be in force like they were this past weekend? That would be fantastic if they were, but in reality it is probably not going to happen.”
The Milwaukee sheriff’s department and MPD will continue to have a presence on campus, but that presence will vary throughout the year. DPS still has a strong presence every weekend with 12 to 14 squad cars on campus Fridays and Saturdays from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m.
Correction: The print version of this article, “Milwaukee sheriff offers to aid campus security,” featured a photo of Milwaukee Police Sargeant Todd Smolen. This may have made the article’s subject unclear; while both the Milwaukee Police Department and the Milwaukee Sheriff’s Department have aided the Department of Public Safety this year, the article focused on the Milwaukee Sheriff’s Department.