Safety is one of the most important factors to consider when searching for a place to rent. Many students never stop to consider the security of their apartment until they actually move in. While looking at off-campus housing, there are some questions to ask both the landlord and the tenants that currently live there. These include:
- Has there been any crime reported in or around your apartment building?
- If so, what has been done to improve safety in the area?
- Does Public Safety regularly patrol this area?
- How often are the locks changed in the building and who has copies of the keys?
- Has Public Safety conducted a security survey of the property? If so, what was the result and what if any problems were corrected? Which were not corrected?
- Students can contact the Department of Public Safety and ask about crime statistics for the area where they wish to rent.
Marquette maintains the Department of Public Safety as a security and safety service to the university community. Public Safety officers monitor off-campus areas with squad, foot and bicycle patrols. Officers are trained to respond to all calls for help, crimes in progress, crisis and emergency situations, and medical assistance.
The department also maintains an outdoor telephone system which includes nearly 200 Blue Light Phones that connect directly to the Public Safety communication center. The communications officer will know the location of the caller and will dispatch assistance immediately if needed. Blue Light Phones can be used for non-emergency situations such as directions, vehicle lockouts and jumpstarts.
The Department of Public Safety is open 24 hours and is located in the 16th Street Parking Structure. Call (414) 288-6800 for assistance. In an emergency, students should call Public Safety at (414) 288-1911.
The Student Safety Programs offer both mobile and walking escorts during the evening hours. Outfitted in highly reflective jackets, safety patrollers, operating in two-person teams, provide walking escorts nightly from 5 p.m. to midnight. LIMO (Local Intercampus Mobile Operation) vans operated from 5 p.m. until 3 a.m., nightly, with hours of operation extending to 4 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, during the school year. LIMOs travel within designated service area encompassing campus and a large section of the near-campus neighborhood. Designated LIMO stops are located at residence halls and several campus buildings. LIMOs, as well as safety patrol escorts, can be requested from campus and near-campus locations within the service boundaries by calling (414) 288-6363.
Additionally, the LIMO Express service operates from 6 p.m. until 3 a.m. during the school year. These white mini buses travel designated, fixed routes encompassing areas on and near campus. Riders can board and exit the LIMO Express buses at any point along the routes. LIMO Express runs two routes: one services a loop on Wisconsin Ave. and Wells St., and the other on Wisconsin Ave. and Kilbourn Ave.
Public Safety's Preventive Services Division can assist students living in the nearby off-campus neighborhood with a variety of resources. Contact Public Safety at (414) 288-6800 to inquire about any of the following programs and services.
The Department of Public Safety maintains high visibility in the Marquette neighborhood, both on-campus and in near off-campus areas.
Vacant house watch program
Through the Vacant House Watch Program, students and employees residing in the near off-campus neighborhood can register their vacant residences during the holiday break. This confidential information is provided to officers, who will monitor the residences during their patrols. Forms to register a residence are available at Public Safety or will be delivered to your door in the weeks prior to Winter Break. Forms are also available online at www.marquette.edu/publicsafety/.
A crime prevention officer can assist you in assessing the security of your residence. The crime prevention officer will walk through your residence with you and prepare a written report detailing security concerns within your residence. The written report will be provided which you can use to discuss with your landlord.
A door is the means of entry for an intruder in 80 percent of all break-ins. There are some basic precautions that must be taken in order to ensure that your door is secure.
- The door must be sturdy. Only solid wood or metal doors offer real protection. Glass in the door is an obvious weakness and should be avoided, particularly if the glass is placed near the locking mechanism.
- All doors have hinges. If your door swings out, the hinges will be exposed. An intruder can easily remove the pins and remove the door. You can prevent this by sliding a strong pin into the edge of the door with enough of the pin protruding so it fits snugly into a hole drilled into the frame. Even if the hinges are removed, the door cannot be lifted out. Talk to your landlord before making any repairs or changes to the door.
- Lock your door! This is the first line of defense to prevent theft. Surprisingly, some students leave their apartments or houses unlocked and sometimes open. If you live in an apartment building, be courteous of your neighbors' safety and do not prop open the main door. Be diligent in keeping your doors locked for the safety of yourself and your belongings.
There are two kinds of locks commonly used in apartment doors. The first is the key-in-the-knob spring bolt. This lock offers you little protection because it can easily be opened with a knife or credit card. The second type of lock is a dead bolt. A dead bolt features a metal bolt which, when engaged, fits into the door frame. Dead bolts should extend at least 1/2 inch into a metal plate on the door frame. A combination of the two locks is your best bet for safety.
All windows should be secured. A commonly installed window is the double-hung window, where one or both of the two panels will slide up, down or sideways. Of all windows, this type is the most vulnerable. These windows are often fastened with a butterfly lock that can be easily opened. Consult your landlord before you try to make your windows more secure.