UNMPD launches new program to keep Lobos safe

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – “Protect the Pack” isn’t just a catchy slogan to the University of New Mexico. The UNM Police Department said they are committed to the safety of students and staff, and are implementing a new program mirrored after Neighborhood Watch.

“We are a community within the community of Albuquerque, and it is important that we all protect our grounds, protect the pack, that’s what we call it at UNM. Sometimes people see things and think it is not important, but it can be very important,” said Rodney Bowe, who works in the Division of Equity and inclusion at UNM.

It’s the first year for the Campus Watch program, UNMPD divided up the campus into 23 zones, each zone with a building coordinator in charge of relaying safety concerns within their zone.

“What we are doing is we are establishing communication through each zone so that they are communicating what safety concerns they have, and the police are sharing any reports of crimes in those areas, so they can be aware of what is happening on our end,” said Tish Young, a detective with UNMPD.

“We already have a building coordinator program where each building has a designated coordinator, that coordinator is responsible for sharing information with the occupants of the building. We use this for maintenance and projects and things like that, outages, we inform the building coordinator they inform the occupants, so we are piggybacking off that concept and using those coordinators to help spread information for campus watch program,” said Maya Williams, the public information representative for UNM Faculty Management.

Students and staff can report a concern within their zone on the campus watch website or by calling campus police.

All of those concerns will be compiled into a monthly newsletter, so people are aware of what’s happening around campus.

“We’ve been looking at community policing for a while and what we can do more to involve the community. Campus Watch seemed like a good way to promote awareness and communication all across campus,” said Young.

Young said this also helps the department identify trends that may be happening within multiple zones on campus.

If a crime happened it is best to call UNMPD directly, however, if it’s just a concern you can do that on the website.