UT addressing safety concerns as classes set to begin
Austin Police arrested Brandon Medeiros for pulling a knife on a University of Texas employee Thursday. It happened at a bus stop on Guadalupe Street around 4 p.m.
The west side of Guadalupe is the city's jurisdiction, but the university acknowledges a large number of students and staff occupy the area and the two agencies must work together.
According to the arrest affidavit, UTPD was first to respond when Medeiros pulled a knife on the victim, who was waiting to catch a bus home from campus.
"I've got a report on that," said VP for campus safety and security Bob Harkins.
As the associate vice president for campus safety and security at the University of Texas, Harkins was notified that an employee was attacked.
"That's very scary. There are a lot of tragedies on campus so you have to keep a look out for yourself," said incoming sophomore Aaron Alterman.
Safe Horns Vice President Joelle Mcnew says The Drag and the West Campus area is a major safety concern for parents as students are set to return in just two weeks.
"It just reinforces the fact that public safety must be a priority," Mcnew said.
Mcnew took these concerns to the city's public safety meeting on Monday.
Harkins acknowledges The Drag is a vulnerable area for students and staff and said UTPD working to increase their presence.
"We have 100 commissioned police officers, 13 new officers that graduated in May," Harkins said.
Harkins says the university has also met with property owners on The Drag, asking them to inform students about things like the "Be Safe Campaign." They've also asked the city to come clean things up.
"Refuse removal, graffiti removal, everything that's an indicator of an area not being taken care of and trying to get those finished up," Harkins said.
On the other side of Guadalupe, on campus they're working on another list of safety improvements following two tragic murders in two years.
"After the first murder DPS did a security assessment of our campus and we spent the last year refining that implementing that," Harkins said.
Things like lighting improvements, limited building access and more cameras will be phased in over the next several years.
Medeiros is charged with aggravated assault. The victim was uninjured and held Medeiros down until police arrived.