The University of Colorado Boulder Police Department (CUPD) scheduled an active harmer response training on campus open for students, faculty and community members on Sept. 15. However, the CUPD postponed the event only minutes from its scheduled start with no explanation.
The start of the university’s semester has not been shy of safety concerns among the community. In just the first month of the fall semester, there have been reports of a sexual assault in a dorm and multiple break-ins on University Hill.
CUPD Spokesperson Christine Mahoney did not explain why police canceled the event. Mahoney added that she didn’t know if officials would reschedule the training, but a recent CU Boulder Today article promoted a new date for the training: Oct. 3.
“[CUPD] encourages students to empower themselves to be aware of as much information as possible regarding incidents that may occur, as well as safety tips and instructions. This includes being aware of how and when we send emergency notifications for incidents that occur on or near campus,” Mahoney said in an email following the canceled training.
Some members of the university community have criticized CU Boulder, and its police department, over the last year for failing to inform students, parents and faculty about safety threats on or near campus in a timely manner.
“With ever-increasing violent events occurring in our schools in the past 20 years, I feel strongly that both faculty and students should be informed and educated on what to do in a harmful situation,” said Carolyn Gordon, a parent of a CU Boulder student. “Just as we practice and prepare for harmful situations such as fires and earthquakes, an active harm situation should be treated the same in regards to preparation.”
At the start of the fall 2022 semester, the university has started to implement changes in the hopes of keeping community members informed. Officials redesigned the university’s alert website to better categorize different university notifications and provide more information about off-campus emergencies.
Dawn Delahousse is a CU Boulder parent and a staff member at Wardenburg Health Center who wanted to attend the Sept. 15 training. Delahousse said she hoped to attend the active harm presentation for the safety of her patients and her daughter. Delahousse said she believes limiting access to university buildings to those with proper identification would improve safety on campus.
“We are, unfortunately, a state university, which means we are open to the general public,” she said. “But if we had more badge access, it would limit their accessibility to buildings that they shouldn’t be going into.”
Mahoney said that the CUPD wants students to utilize the police department as a resource. She said police are revamping websites, resources and are developing more ways to connect with the community.
“CUPD asks that students report any incidents to police by calling or texting 911,” she said. “Police reports can also be made anonymously online.”
The training on Oct. 3 will be held in the UMC’s Aspen Rooms from 1 to 3 p.m. The university encourages walk-in attendees.
Contact CU Independent Guest Writer Juliette Owen at firstname.lastname@example.org.