AUSTIN, Texas - The UT Austin Police Department has launched their Interactive Transparency Dashboards. It gives people an interactive way to look at data on the types of calls officers are responding to.
The university says they put the dashboard together in an effort to be as transparent as possible and in response to requests from the community.
"We are very happy to see that UTPD has launched that. We appreciate the transparency. It's very important because crime is data-driven," Joell McNew, president of Safe Horns, a nonprofit that advocates for campus safety, said.
The dashboard says there have been 46% more incidents this year compared to this point last year. An "incident" just means an officer responded, not necessarily a crime.
So far this year, officers responded to the most calls at Dell Seton Medical Center, about 450 of them, followed by 65 at Jester West Dormitory, and almost 60 on Guadalupe Street in the area around Target.
The university says places west of campus are in the Austin Police Department's jurisdiction. UTPD officers often respond to help APD. Those cases will be in the data, but the numbers won't show every case that happened on West Campus.
"When you look at the data, and you look at the crime impacting students, and we don't care what type of crime it is. Crime negatively impacts the quality of life of everyone in Austin and whether you're in West Campus, South Austin or North Austin. The data is important, and reporting is important," McNew said.
This year to date there have been nearly 300 emergency detentions, followed by about 125 thefts and about 120 trespassing cases.
Most calls are for building and camera checks.
Safe Horns says while they're pleased with the data, there's still more to do, and they hope to expand on safety initiatives that were approved in 2020.
"We have to do more with the police staffing issues, with the Austin Police Department," McNew said.
Students can use the Live Safe app to report anything suspicious and get help.
There are also programs that give rides and walk with students, so they can get safely to their car or home.
Click here for the full dashboards.