University of Missouri Police Department's "timely warning" emails help to keep students safe

"Timely warning" emails help solve and prevent crime

COLUMBIA, Mo. - University of Missouri police are taking to email to keep students safe.

They send out a Clery Release email any time a serious crime happens on campus and the threat is ongoing.

MUPD Capt. Brian Weimer said that the "timely warning" emails are a great way to keep the students safe by keeping them informed.

"We're going to want the community to know a crime happened so they're aware of it and they can take more preventative measures to be safe," Weimer said.

He estimated that the department sent out about a dozen Clery Releases last year, each with a dual purpose.

"They solve cases we have or help prevent future ones from happening," said Weimer.

He also believes these timely warnings encourage community policing.

"By making everyone aware, we can all work together," said Weimer. "Then hopefully it'll be safer because you have a lot more eyes out there than just the 34 officers and couple of security guards."

But community policing can't happen if students don't take the emails seriously.

"The Clery Releases are kind of a joke on campus," student Jennifer Tomashea said. 

Another MU student, Emily Klaus, believes they're somewhat dramatized.

"I think they can be informative to a point, but if they don't have enough information, they shouldn't fill it with fluff," she said.

Both students do read the emails, and Tomashea does credit them with making her more aware.

"I think it's helped me acknowledge what's happening," she said. "I'm definitely more weary of parking garages at night by myself now."

But if the emails are taken seriously, Weimer said they really do work.

"There was an incident a few years ago with an individual that was assaulting people on campus and he became known as the bear hugger," Weimer said. "People concentrated on that and not the seriousness of the situation but through the timely warnings, we were able to solve that case very quickly."

Three Clery Releases have been sent out in just the last week and a half.

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