Following a series of crimes and arrests in Madison, University of Wisconsin’s Parent and Family Program addressed concerned parents Tuesday via e-mail and shared updates on a new “Off-Campus Alerts” system.
According to the e-mail, the University of Wisconsin Police Department expanded its notification system to allow for alerts when a situation is taking place off-campus. The off-campus alerts program began Oct. 10 and will be piloted for the remainder of the fall.
The pilot program will be supplemental to WiscAlerts and will provide students, faculty and staff with emergency alerts regarding dangerous incidents in places off-campus frequented by the UW community.
A map of the area considered off-campus can be found here.
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Since off-campus alerts are concerned with incidents outside of UWPD’s jurisdiction, the department will only be able to issue alerts once they are aware of and have verified information regarding the incident.
Students, faculty and staff wishing to receive off-campus alerts must opt-in to the program by signing up online. According to UWPD, family members of UW students will also be able to receive alerts.
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In the e-mail, the Parent and Family program advised students to be careful when walking or traveling on campus after dark and encouraged them to use SAFEwalk — a walking service available to students, faculty, staff and visitors to UW that offers companionship — when walking at night.
Students were also encouraged to report suspicious behavior and refrain from using earbuds when walking in the dark, or use only one earbud to remain aware of their surroundings.