AUSTIN, Texas - The $8 million that will flow into UT Austin will not be done as a one-time, lump-sum payment. It will be spread out over four years in $2 million installments.
"I wouldn't say this is the end-all to be all. We still need the collaboration between the community, private sector, law enforcement, and the governing agencies to kind of work through issues,” said UT Police Chief David Carter.
The money, according to Chief Carter, will address a growing threat to UT students. "Violent crime has gone up across the city, not saying necessarily those increases are right here on campus, or near campus, there is a concern when you look at the number of crimes we see,” said Chief Carter.
The $8 million will:
- 11 new police officers
- 2 new sergeants
- Install 6 halo cameras
- Set up a substation
The Webb Building on the Drag will be used as the Substation and could be opened by the Summer.
The Chief described it as a storefront. "The idea is what we want to do is create a visible presence in that particular area so that students can come in if they need to, or they need to make a report or talk about something with a UT Police Officer,” said Chief Carter.
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The halo cameras will be similar to those used by the Austin Police Department in the 6th Street District. A major part of this new investment in security is the expansion of UT Police Patrols into West Campus. While the new police officers go through the academy, which can take 6 months, existing staff members will be out patrolling and will be paid with OT funds.
A new area will be designated as patrol District 7 and will extend initially all the way to Rio Grande where a spike in violent crime has taken place.
Areas on the east side of campus will also see extra patrols.
"It’s important for folks to recognize we are here not to replace APD, or assume their responsibility to police the city of Austin but to basically enhance their capacity, police presence matters,” said Chief Carter.
Chief Carter did say there is the possibility that they could push the new District 7 patrol zone further out into West Campus. It’s not known what will happen after the funding runs out in 4 years.