OLLU police takes extra measures for the safety of OLLU

SAN ANTONIO – Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) ranks in Texas’s top 40 Safest College Campuses.

In Niche’s list of 2022’s safest colleges, OLLU ranks No.38. The list is compiled based on statistics and student reviews using data from the U.S. Department of Education.

OLLU has provided a multitude of resources that allow students to report crime or suspicious activity. Individuals have the resources to report both emergency and non-emergency situations. OLLU also provides a Silent Witness Program in which an individual may provide the University Police with information while remaining anonymous.

“Having police officers on campus is a great resource and asset for the entire OLLU community,” said Ramon Zertuche, Chief of Police and Director of Camus Safety. “An Officer is trained to handle a wide range of calls.”

First responders are trained to respond to every call, even those not within their authority.

“We investigate everything within our jurisdiction and have the full support of other law enforcement agencies when needed,” Zertuche said.

The OLLU police department has a response time that is less than the national police average.

“Our response time at any place on campus is under the national police average of three minutes,” Zertuche said. “We can respond in just under a minute and sometimes faster.”

The OLLU Police Department offers a safety escort service to ensure individuals arrive safely at their destination.

“University police officers provide safety escorts to any community member to include members of Our Lady of the Lake Convent 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” Zertuche said. “This service is free and does not cost a cent to anyone.”

If anyone would like to request a safety escort, all one needs to do is call the police non-emergency number at 210-431-4022. Provide your name, location and destination. The operator will then provide an estimated time of arrival.

“Please keep in mind there may be times that the officers are assisting other people on campus or on emergency calls that may take some time,” Zertuche said. “In either event, the officer/police staff will share that information with the caller so they understand what the wait time might be. But rest assured, an officer will get to the escort as soon as possible.”

Along with the resources to report a crime after it has happened, OLLU also provided a list of safety tips to prevent crime and stay safe. Some items on the list include keeping emergency numbers programmed on your phone, walking in well-lit areas, not propping room doors open, and more. The OLLU Police Department responds to non-emergency calls as well.

“Our non-emergency number is 210-431- 4022, and it is answered 24/7,” Zertuche said. “After hours, the phone will ring about four to five times, then it will roll over to the officers in the field. Through this number, we received the bulk of our calls for service.”

Some non-emergency calls that the OLLU Police Department will respond to include (and are not limited to) suspicious person(s), suspicious package, stray or lose animal calls, suspicious odor/smell in the dorms, power outage on campus, vehicle accidents/ on and off-campus/non-injuries, motor’s assist/unlock vehicles/flat tires and campus directions.

The OLLU Police Department takes extra measures to ensure the safety of those on campus. Chief Zertuche stays in contact with Chiefs of Police from St Mary’s, University of Incarnate Word, and Trinity to share information as needed to assist one another.

“UPD takes a highly visible and aggressive patrol stance to deter criminal activity
on campus,” Zertuche said.

Strategic patrol sections were created to assist the patrol officers while on patrol throughout their shifts. These strategic locations are public knowledge to keep the adversaries from learning our patrol operations. We also include foot and bike patrol in our vehicle patrol to help ensure campus-wide.

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