UT Police propose increase in officers, security technology following violent attacks

Two University of Texas at Austin students were treated and released from the hospital after a series of stabbings in the entertainment district last week. One student waited a few days before coming forward to UT Austin police as a victim.

The delayed report prompted UT Austin Chief of Police David Carter to inform students on social media to “Never hesitate to tell someone if u are assaulted."

Following his tweet, Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted back thanking the chief for his efforts to improve safety saying, “I’ve heard urgent please by UT students about increasing lighting and security tools around campus. I shared my expectations to UT leaders & expect results next month.”

The governor’s tweet received an immediate response from the University President, stating the university is working with the Board of Regents on funding to ramp up safety. 

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The funding is needed, said Carter. UTPD has issued a number of safety initiatives to educate students and ensure safety on campus. However, it’s off-campus the department is trying to reach.

Carter said he needs the manpower. His department works side by side with the Austin Police Department but APD is tackling a nationwide issue of officer shortages.

RELATED: UT Police Chief: Two UT students attacked in recent 6th St stabbings

Carter introduced details of a preliminary proposal in the works Monday which will recommend the hiring of additional officers to patrol off-campus areas. The proposal will also include enhanced security technology. Carter said the department is looking at a camera security system similar to the HALO system APD uses. Meanwhile, UTPD is recommending the city of Austin fund street lights on off-campus areas. 

Carter said the full proposal will be in soon advising students to take safety precautions, remember to walk in groups if possible and be cognizant of your surroundings.