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Updated 10:00 AM February 18, 2008




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U-M gets top grade for safety

U-M Ann Arbor earned an A grade for safety preparedness in a special report appearing in the March issue of Reader's Digest.
Department of Public Safety Officer Brian Daniels with K-9 Jessy, left, and Officer Mark West with Brutus take a break before they are honored at the annual DPS Awards and Appreciation Luncheon. Jessy and Brutus, the first two dogs to work at DPS, will retire this month after six years of service. During their tenure with DPS, the dogs made significant contributions to the campus as well as the surrounding communities, helping with explosives detection and article finds. One career highlight was participating in the security detail two years ago for Super Bowl XL in Detroit. Two new dogs, Tazer and Sampson, are in training to step into their four-footed positions. (Photo by Scott Galvin, U-M Photo Services)

The report titled "Safe at School?" includes preparedness rankings of 135 schools and crime statistics for 285 schools. It is featured on the magazine's Web site,, and will be on newsstands Feb. 19.

"We are pleased that this well-known publication recognized many of the efforts are staff members have been undertaking for several years," says Bill Bess, executive director of the Department of Public Safety. "Many people from numerous departments as well as staff in our schools and colleges have continued to raise our preparedness levels. We are such a vast, diverse campus, it takes all of us working together to contribute to the safety and security of our students, faculty, staff and visitors."

Grades of A, B and C were assigned by the Reader's Digest staff based on survey results of the 135 institutions. Survey questions included demographics such as the number of students overall and living in campus housing, the number of campus police officers, and whether the institution was in an urban, small city or town or rural setting. Other survey questions pertained to infrastructure elements such as the percentage of students in halls with cameras, automatic door locks, smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors and sprinkler systems. Additional questions evaluated programmatic activities such as new student orientation content, counseling programs for sexual assault and mental health issues, and U-M discipline procedures.

The magazine staff assigned U-M a crime rate of "moderate."

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