University of Pennsylvania: The Frontrunner of Security

<p>** Many students, including current students and incoming students, feel cynical toward their security at the University of Pennsylvania. Things may not as bad as they see. Crime rate has significantly dropped since 1990. Here is an excerpt from U.S. News & World Report, 2006 Edition.</p>

<p>"[University of Pennsylvania] developed a master plan that included hiring more university police, expanding the boundaries of campus police patrols, and installing closed circuit video cameras on street corners. But the center piece of the plan was the redevelopment of the blighted blocks surrounding Penn. Today crime is down 50 percent from a decade ago, and West Philly is a shining example of urban renewal, complete with new housing, hip coffeehouses, and trendy restaurants."</p>

<p>The excerpt above perhaps, may cast some light on some new students' impression of the University of Pennsylvania.

<p>University City is definitely miles ahead of what it was a decade ago. But with its rising level of security come rising expectations for even more security.</p>

<p>1 paragraph doesn't do justice to what is a complex situation on the ground. Crime is down from 1990 (a bad time in the middle of the crack epidemic) but recently it has been creeping up again from the levels of the early 2000s. Why pick 1990 as your base line? We know we can do better - we already have in recent years. "Campus crime" is defined as crime on the actual campus but a lot of crime occurs in nearby "off campus" areas, esp. west of 40th St. Some areas are redeveloped but you don't have to go too far from campus before you are essentially in a slum. This is a far bigger problem that Penn can't solve by itself. Mostly the locals confine themselves to killing each other but they are not above taking a short trip to campus in order to steal bikes, laptops, whatever is not nailed down and some things that are. See the crime log in the DP (and that's just the "on campus" crime). This is no reason to avoid Penn but you do have to remember that you're not in Kansas anymore where you can leave your bike unlocked in front of Mr. Trilby's malt shop and it will still be there six weeks later.</p>

<p> I think University of Pennsylvania is quite doing its best, since a shooting will devastate the university's reputation. I am confident with the university's security measure. </p>

<p>shooting will devastate the university's reputation?</p>

<p>a student got shot (in the leg) last year (she survived, obviously / thankfully)...</p>

<p>iAppler - your confidence is touching but misplaced. Like all other authorities, official assurances do not often match the reality. They really are making an effort but they cannot be everywhere at all times. Even if they see an event on camera, by the time they respond it is too late. If a robbery were to go wrong and becomes a shooting, they would be helpless to stop this. Recently a visiting mother was pushed to the ground while having her purse snatched by some neighborhood teens right in the middle of campus. Fortunately her injuries were minor but with a little bad luck she might have struck her head in the fall and been killed. Basically luck is all that is keeping Penn's reputation from being "devastated" in the way that you say. I put quotes around devastated because the unfortunate truth is that students have been shot and even killed around campus in the past and the University's reputation has survived. Of course if shootings of students on or near campus were to become a frequent event and not a rare occurrence then of course people might re-evaluate whether they wanted to attend school in such a Wild West environment and rightly so. But I don't anticipate that will happen.</p>

<p>posterX: That woman was not beaten up. She was pushed to the ground, and where did you get your source that indicates the number of homicides in Philadelphia?</p>

<p>here's a few sources that verify that number.</p>

<p><a href=""&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p><a href=""&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>that last map is a few weeks old, so the number there is accurate for its publication date.</p>

<p>I heard that the new mayor is similar to guliani...and that the situation will improve in philly. is that true?</p>

<p>um, there isn't a new mayor "yet" since nutter hasn't been elected "yet" (they only had primaries, not the actual general election) but he is very likely to win (he's the democrat, and democrats outnumber republicans here about 5:1), but gotta wait until election day for that.</p>

<p>anyway, he is openly advocating a tough stand against gun violence, with a controversial "stop and frisk" policy to get illegal guns off the streets.</p>

<p><a href=""&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>hopefully he will get a lot of the reforms from his platform into legislation / ordinances / action, so things can really improve.</p>

<p>He's as Giuliani-esque as Philadelphia is going to get. I'm hoping for the best.</p>

<p>"and that the situation will improve in philly. is that true?"</p>

<p>Nobody knows yet. The new mayor won't take office until next year. If the police knew what to do, they'd be doing it already. </p>

<p>Add two more to the body count:</p>

<p><a href=""&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>Neither near the Penn campus, though one was close to the Temple campus (though not involving a Temple student). The vast majority of these shootings involve ghetto residents shooting each other over drugs, disrespect, etc. and are unlikely to affect Penn students directly but they are symptoms of an out of control system where lots of people live outside the law and so are also likely to do carjackings, muggings, etc. - the murder rate is sort of a barometer of the overall climate in society and right now the feeling is sort of "Wild West". Penn really does a pretty good job of keeping the campus safe from most violent crime but it's tough when the outside environment is so bad.</p>