The Maroon

Editorial: LUPD: Unsung protectors

Loyola police aren’t given the respect we think they deserve. That’s something that needs to change.

Gage Counts, [email protected]

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The Loyola University Police Department is one of the most under-appreciated services that the university provides.

There is a significant number of students on campus who repeat the line, “LUPD isn’t a real police department. Its officers aren’t real police. They’re just glorified security guards.”
Aside from being incorrect – LUPD officers are fully deputized, capable of making arrests and doing most every other function of “real” police officers – it assumes that our police department doesn’t do anything substantial.

Most of what students see Loyola police doing is giving out parking tickets, checking locked doors and posting boil water notices: mundane tasks. However, the reason they’re able to do these mundane tasks is because they’re not handling serious crime very often.

They don’t handle serious crime often because serious crime doesn’t happen on campus often.

When on campus, students can feel safe. The most common crimes that happen are people stealing laptops from dorms and the occasional bicycle theft. At night, it’s reasonably safe to walk around on campus, even if alone.

Three blocks away from campus or on St. Charles Ave., the same level of safety doesn’t exist. One glance at a crime map shows that almost all of the crime in the area happens off campus.
The difference in safety isn’t a coincidence. We have LUPD to thank for that.

Loyola police officers don’t ride around campus in their mopeds and golf carts because they’re being lazy and avoiding doing their jobs. They patrol the campus so much to show a police presence in an attempt to deter crime. As evidenced by the lack of armed robberies, assaults, kidnappings and other violent crimes, their strategy seems to work.

Granted, LUPD has their issues. The number of security cameras on campus are astonishingly low. They aren’t effective at medical first response. Yet despite these issues, Loyola students are immensely better off with them than without them.

No one is obligated to avoid criticizing LUPD, to thank them for helping keep us safe or even to acknowledge them – though it would be nice. What everyone should do though, is make mental note of how safe campus is, and consider who is making that happen.

The editorial represents the majority opinions of The Maroon’s editorial board and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Loyola University. 

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Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola
Editorial: LUPD: Unsung protectors