New MUPD substation to allow more student accessibility to on-campus officers

The station will allow officers to be more visible and available for students, Dean of Students Jeff Zeilenga said.

The MUPD substation is located on the first level of the MU Student Center.

The MU Police Department has set up a substation on the first floor of the MU Student Center, located along the wall by the Information Center.

The station was first set up on Oct. 9, according to MUPD’s Twitter account. The Office of the Dean of Students Jeff Zeilenga assisted in funding and setting up the station.

MUPD Major Brian Weimer said the police chief officially sent in a request to the Student Center this past summer, but Zeilenga said there’s been discussion for a substation since the Student Center was first opened in 2010.

There is no set schedule for when an officer will be available at the station, although the department wants someone there as much as possible, Weimer said. Staffing depends on how busy the officers are and when they have time to sit and speak with students, he said.

Zeilenga said the substation “allows [MUPD] officers to be more visible and accessible to students.”

For some students, the purpose of the substation is not immediately clear.

Sophomores Rebekah Green and Kayla Young said they have seen officers sitting at the substation before. However, they’re not entirely sure of its purpose.

Green and Young haven’t seen the officers do much other than computer work and speak with one another, they said. However, Young said she did see one student approach the desk to inquire about parking.

Green also said that because there are no set shifts for when an officer will be posted, she doesn’t think it serves its original intent for students.

“If it’s to create a presence, I get that, but there’s not someone there all the time, so that presence isn’t felt,” Green said.

Weimer said he hopes with the station that more students will get to know the campus police and have any questions they have answered firsthand.

There are other resources available for students to get in touch with an MUPD officer: phone, email, Twitter and the MU Police Department on Virginia Avenue. Weimer said the substation was just “one more access point” for MU students.

Having it in the Student Center is important because of how many people stop by for different reasons, he said. This means students can visit the substation without having to go out of their way.

“We hope it’s something to be utilized by our community,” Weimer said. “And we want students to know, if they see an officer there, to stop by, ask questions or give us some feedback.”

Edited by Olivia Garrett | ogarrett@themaneater.com

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