TU crime stats lowest within University System of Maryland

Good policing, community awareness contribute to improved campus safety

Bernard Gerst talks to student

Bernard Gerst, Towson University Chief of Police, talks to students on campus.

TOWSON, Md. (Feb. 23, 2012)—Towson University’s 2010 Uniform Crime Statistics are the lowest —7.46 per 1,000 students—among the University System of Maryland's 10 campuses, and only a fraction of Baltimore County’s 35.69 rate.

Specific categories have declined significantly. For example, the campus reported 119 thefts in 2011, as opposed to 366 in 1995. Burglaries also dropped from a high of 89 in 1997 to 11 in 2011, while property crimes plummeted from 442 in 1995 to 130 in 2011.

The university’s success in UCR statistics continues even as the populations of the campus and the city of Towson grow.

"It's encouraging to see that the campus crime statistics continually remain substantially lower than the reported crime rate for the metropolitan area," says Bernard J. Gerst, associate vice president of Public Safety and Chief of Police.

Gerst shares credit with TUPD's crime prevention/awareness efforts and an involved campus community, explaining that his department works hard to educate faculty, staff and students about safety on campus.

TUPD officers and support staff distribute a newsletter, contribute information for The Towerlight’s police blotter, maintain a website, and distribute email and text alerts as needed.

"We provide seminars and speakers on a variety of safety issues to departments, student organizations and residence halls,” Gerst adds. "Topics include rape and sexual assault prevention, theft and robbery prevention, drug and alcohol awareness, and personal defense."

Gerst says the department also supports a high level of visibility on campus. “We maintain a minimum of three officers and one supervisor on duty,” he explains. “Our officers are out there to protect the campus—in cars, on bikes or on foot—24 hours a day.”

But he emphasizes that good policing is only part of the reason for TU’s enviable crime rates. “TU’s faculty, staff and students should view these numbers as their success. They’ve worked with us to create a safer campus for themselves and our many visitors.”

To learn more about safety and security on campus, and to see additional statistics, visit the TUPD website.






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