Campus safety statistics

The University of Utah’s 2018 Annual Security & Fire Safety Report is now available with data from 2017. In addition to reporting annual crime and fire statistics, it includes information about safety and security-related services offered by the university.

Tragically, the report includes one murder. In October 2017, a senseless, random act of violence claimed the life of University of Utah student ChenWei Guo. He was fatally shot by a man police described as a “drifter” in a failed carjacking near the gate of Red Butte Canyon. Recently, the suspect pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced to life in prison.

Over the past year, the University of Utah Police Department has implemented several new safety protocols, including installing many new security cameras across campus, patrolling Red Butte Canyon daily and enforcing a no-camping policy to prevent unwelcome visitors from staying on campus. Additionally, regular visits to the area help familiarize officers with the landscape and allow them to develop relationships with the many people who use the canyon for enjoyment and recreation.

Other findings from the report

Also of note is that reports of domestic violence, fondling and rape increased. Property crime and motor vehicle theft also increased, but the number of burglaries declined by 50 percent.

“Any increase in crime is troubling, and we constantly evaluate our processes to look for ways to improve safety on campus,” said U Police Chief Dale Brophy. “Through aggressive enforcement and prosecution, we are working to make the university an unwelcome place for those looking to commit crimes.”

The rise in motor vehicle thefts can be attributed to an individual who stole numerous vehicles throughout the Salt Lake Valley during a two-to-three-month period. This individual was eventually arrested.

In 2017, the university established a Presidential Task Force on Campus Safety charged with looking at campus safety—specifically prevention, physical safety, support and training. As a result, the institution invested nearly $400,000 to improve safety efforts. Among these efforts was a new campus safety campaign and website called SafeU, a comprehensive resource with information about campus safety—from how to report a sexual assault to where to register for bystander intervention training and resources available to help increase reporting of these types of crimes.

Public Safety resources

The U campus is patrolled 24 hours per day, seven days a week by members of the university’s Department of Public Safety. The officers are fully certified Utah state police officers, and the department is backed by a security staff of more than 75 people. In addition to monitoring and responding to alarms, controlling access to university facilities and patrolling campus, the department offers safety escort services and can assist those who have locked their keys in their vehicle or who need help starting a dead car. To request a service, call dispatch at 801-585-COPS (2677). In an emergency, dial 911.

About the Annual Security & Fire Safety Report

The Annual Security & Fire Safety Report is created in compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, commonly referred to as the Clery Act. The act seeks to standardize campus crime reporting so students, staff, faculty and visitors can learn about institutions’ crime histories.

The U report covers the main campus in Salt Lake City, the Sandy Center, the Graduate Center in St. George, the Bonderman Field Station at Rio Mesa in Grand County, Utah, the Range Creek Field Station in Emery County, Utah, and the Taft-Nicholson Environmental Humanities Center in Montana. The U Asia Campus in Incheon, South Korea, has its own Annual Security Report, which will be available at a later date.

To obtain a printed copy of the report, visit the U Department of Public Safety, 1735 E. South Campus Drive. Requests are also accepted by phone at 801-585-2677 during normal business hours.

Questions regarding the report can be directed to the office of the chief of police at chief@dps.utah.edu.