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Bradley to see increase police presence following leadership meeting on security

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PEORIA (HOI) -- Due to recent safety concerns, Bradley University and its surrounding areas will see an increase of police patrols, as well as other security measures yet to be implemented.

The increase of patrols follows a Saturday meeting between Bradley president Gary Roberts, Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis, Chief of Police Loren Marion and city councilman Chuck Grayeb.

"Our constant goal is always to have an extremely safe environment in which our Bradley community can study and work, and for everyone here to feel confident about their safety," said Roberts in an online article on Bradley's website Monday.

The meeting was called on Friday, December 27, after a series of crimes on and around campus.

According to the online article, the Bradley campus and surrounding areas are "as safe or safer than at virtually any non-rural campus in America."

2017 Bradley Graduate David Jorgenson works in Peoria and still lives only a few blocks from campus. While he's aware of the recent crime in the neighborhood, he still feels safe going about his normal life.

"You just have to be aware of your surroundings, anyone does, I never feel unsafe, but I still when I'm walking around or driving through campus I just make sure I'm safe and kind of know what's going on," said Jorgenson.

Nonetheless, President Roberts said there will be "noticeably higher law enforcement visibility on and around campus."

As a result of the meeting, Roberts said the following steps are also being implemented to increase security on and around the campus:

  • The Bradley University Police Department has modified its patrolling strategies.
  • Bradley has committed to hiring an additional security personnel.
  • Developing "enhanced use of both recording and constantly-monitored security cameras in strategic areas."
  • Increasing the use of the HIlltop Safety Cruiser program.

Peoria City Councilman Chuck Grayeb -- who was at the December 27 meeting -- says he is confident these additions will only further improve what he views as an already rather safe neighborhood.

""By focusing on that meeting on what we can do to better coordinate our resources, I think everybody will turn out to be the winner, not only the students at Bradley University, but also citizens that live adjacent to the university," said Grayeb,

The Bradley police department currently consists of 21 officers, who patrol campus and surrounding neighborhoods, according to the university's website.

Drew Veskauf

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