UTEP Police focuses on community safety after Walmart shooting

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UTEP Police focuses on community safety after Walmart shooting

Courtesy of UTEP Police Department

Courtesy of UTEP Police Department

Courtesy of UTEP Police Department

Marisol Chavez, Web Editor

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More than a month after the shooting at the Cielo Vista Walmart that killed 22, UTEP’s Police Department continues to look for ways to protect the community.  

“We continue to be concerned about the safety and wellbeing of not just our campus community, but our community as a whole because we are one,” said Cliff Walsh, UTEP police chief 

Among the resources that the police department is promoting is the constant use of the what-if scenario in a “common sense kind of way, which consists of thinking of different ways in which you could get out of dangerous situations. An emergency plan and an active-shooter situation video can also be found online at the main page of my.utep.edu. 

Special trainings are offered to all UTEP departments and groups of students who are trying to learn about safety. These trainings can be set up by contacting the department by email, phone or through social media.  

We also have personal safety programs such as R.A.D. for young ladies,” Walsh said, adding that they do not charge for those services.  

R.A.D. stands for Rape Aggression Defense Basic Personal Defense System, a program meant to inform women about self-defense techniques and tactics during a 12-hour course that focuses on “awareness, prevention, risk reduction and risk avoidance,” per UTEP’s police department website.  

When it comes to police procedures, Walsh reassured the UTEP community saying they are always trying to improve them, constantly making them more robust and better.   

Emmanuel Delmar, a junior music major at UTEP, said that he was not concerned about the university’s safety. 

“I’ve always thought of UTEP as a safe place and I still feel that way, Delmar said. 

However, when asking him about that feeling of safety during the public events that the university hosts, Delmar thought differently. 

“I can’t think of anything that would make me feel safe,” Delmar said. “Maybe if I had the certainty that everyone attending is searched so that no one is carrying a weapon.” 

Regarding these concerns, Walsh said that UTEP collaborates with state, local and federal partners, as well as with the Dean of Students, faculty and staff so that all the facets of an event are looked over and considered.  

We do the kinds of things that you would expect any law enforcement agency to do,” Walsh said.  

Walsh urges students to be proactive, speak out and contact the 911 emergency hotline or the police department if they are suspicious about something or someone on campus. 

“It’s everyone’s responsibility. If you see something, say something. You’re never going to be bothering the police or law enforcement, Walsh said.  

UTEP police can be reached at (915) 747-5611. 

Marisol Chávez may be reached at [email protected]