Keeping safe while back on campus

The UWM Police Department welcomes the UWM and surrounding communities back to campus with its annual Safety Week Sept. 20-24.

Students, staff and faculty can attend events to learn about first aid, self-defense and more safety techniques during Safety Week. The theme this year is “Reunited We Are Still Safe.”

“We want to introduce — or reintroduce — students to campus and help create a sense of safety,” said Craig Rafferty, community liaison officer for UWM police.

Safety Week will offer two new features this year: pop-up COVID-19 vaccination clinics will be offered, and UWMPD is giving out free steering wheel locks to Kia and Hyundai owners in response to an increase in thefts of those brands. Some model years of Kia and Hyundai have a security flaw that makes them easier to steal.

Self-defense demonstrations

To kick off Safety Week on Sept. 20, live self-defense demonstrations will be given every hour between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. in Spaights Plaza, which is located between the Student Union and Golda Meir Library. Interested individuals can attend self-defense classes in Zelazo 171 on Oct, 20 or Nov. 17 from 1-3 p.m.

Due to the pandemic, only the classroom portion of the class — meaning there will be no hands-on practice — will be taught this year, Rafferty said.

Also on Sept. 20, a COVID-19 vaccination clinic will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. outside Golda Meir Library for any UWM community member interested in getting vaccinated. Another vaccination clinic will be open 1-5 p.m. Sept. 22 at Klotsche Pavilion. The clinics are run through the Milwaukee Health Department in association with Norris Health Center.

Active shooter training will be offered Sept. 21 from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Architecture and Urban Planning building, room 170. Rafferty encouraged everyone to take it, for the program is designed to prepare people for situations beyond a college campus.

On Sept. 22, alcohol awareness and bystander intervention training sessions are open to students. Staff can attend a training session on what to do when a student is displaying distressed and concerning behavior.

Anyone interested in attending training can do so by contacting the police department online or at one of the police safety tables in the Student Union.

Coffee with a Cop

Coffee with a Cop — an event for UWMPD officers and community members to interact in an informal setting — will be held in the Student Union from 9 to 11 a.m. on Sept. 23. A safe night out event promoting the RAVE Guardian app will be held that night in Sandburg Residence Hall.

RAVE Guardian is an app that acts as a virtual safe walker. An user can set a timer for how long it will take them to reach their destination and select a “guardian.” This person, who could be a friend, parent or UWMPD, will be alerted if the student did not indicate through the app that they have reached their destination safely.

Safety Week wraps up on Sept. 24 with a Safety Table in the Concourse from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“The goal of Safety Week is to show students that UWMPD is a resource that goes beyond ‘protect and serve,’” Rafferty said. “We want to build a safer community.”

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