University installs closed-circuit television system on Greenway Walk

WUSTL already has invested in improved lighting, telephones along Greenway

The installation of a closed-circuit television system on the Greenway Walk began Feb. 2, announced Don Strom, chief of university police at Washington University in St. Louis.

“We’ve been conducting an ongoing review of safety and security issues in off-campus neighborhoods, and we identified the Greenway as a key pedestrian area for students, faculty and staff,” Strom said. “We have previously increased security in the area during evening hours. Installing a closed-circuit television system is the logical next step to enhancing safety and security in the Loop area.”

WUSTL police’s Neighborhood Security Patrol monitors the Greenway Walk area every night from 6 p.m.-2 a.m. The university also has invested in improved lighting and emergency telephones along the Greenway.

The Greenway Walk pedestrian walkway is located in University City between Melville and Westgate avenues, north of the Forest Park Parkway overpass connecting the Danforth Campus to University City. Cameras also are being installed on Melville Avenue from Kingsbury Boulevard to Washington Avenue.

With an estimated 1,400 students living off campus in University City, security along the Greenway Walk — which many students use to travel to and from the Danforth Campus every day — is an important issue.

“Keeping students safe — and feeling safe — is among the university’s highest priorities,” said Justin Carroll, associate vice chancellor for students and dean of students. “We hope that the installation of this security system will discourage crime along the Greenway Walk and lead to a safer environment for all in the campus community living in and visiting University City.”

The installation is part of a long-term cooperative effort between WUSTL and University City to address safety concerns, especially in the Loop.

“Washington University continues to be a critical partner in maintaining the Loop as the premier entertainment district for the region, but equally important, Washington University is ensuring the surrounding residential areas continue to be safe, inviting neighborhoods where our residents feel comfortable relaxing and having fun,” said Julie Feier, city manager of University City.

“Washington University provides financial support to the University City Police Department and assists with direct patrols,” Feier said. “The closed-circuit system will provide yet another means of keeping our community safe.”

WUSTL also is installing a closed-circuit television system at the entrances and parking lot of the 276 N. Skinker Building, located in St. Louis City, Strom said.

The university already uses closed-circuit television systems in the entrances and exits of the Danforth University Center and all residence halls on the Danforth Campus. Cameras also have been installed in the Snow Way, Lien and Danforth University Center garages. The cameras on the Greenway Walk and at the 276 N. Skinker building are the university’s first off-campus systems.

Strom said that though the university is taking additional measures to keep students, faculty and staff safe in the community, it is important to remember that personal safety is a shared responsibility. It is important to be aware of your surroundings and attentive to potentially risky situations while out walking.

The WUSTL police department offers the following safety tips:

• Avoid walking or jogging alone, and never walk or jog alone after dark.

• Do not wear music headphones while walking or jogging.

• Always walk or jog in a familiar area.

• Always choose a well-lit path and avoid dark or vacant areas.

• Be alert to your surroundings. If you suspect you are being followed, run in a different direction, go to the other side of the street and yell or whistle for help or head quickly to a lighted area, a group of people or an emergency telephone.

• When confronted by a thief, give them what they want and don’t chase them.

• Carry a whistle to summon help. You can obtain a free whistle by calling 935-5084.

• Report suspicious activities to the police immediately.

For more information on safety tips or the television system, call the WUSTL Police Department at 935-5084.