The reported gunman sightings of Nov. 25 may lead to increased town-gown collaboration on safety.
On Jan. 31, the University expanded Yale Alerts access to all Yale contractors, visitors, neighbors and members of the New Haven community, according to an online press release from Yale’s public safety department. Those who wish to sign up for Yale Alerts can now go to the department’s website and follow the online instructions in order to receive safety updates.
In spreading the safety information the administration hopes “to be able to communicate more directly with our neighbors, visitors and contractors so they can make decisions about their safety,” said Maria Bouffard, Director of Emergency Management.
The decision to expand access to the Yale Alerts system was sparked by members of the community who expressed interest in being notified when there are emergencies on Yale’s campus, following the events in November.
Janet Lindner, associate vice president of administration, said in an email that the goal of the Yale Alerts system is to “increase awareness and reduce crime on and around campus.” Bouffard said the Yale administration is still unsure how many people and businesses in the Elm City will sign up for the newly expanded service, but hopes there will be a lot of interest. She said she expects the majority of new members will be merchants on Chapel St. and Broadway as well as visitors, contractors and consultants who frequently come to campus.
Of the five employees and residents interviewed, all said they supported the idea of making the Yale Alerts system available to the community. However, none of those interviewed had previously heard about the YPD alert expansion.
The manager at The Green Teahouse, located at 1008 Chapel St., said she believes receiving Yale Alerts could be beneficial.
“We have a lot of employees and it’s important that we help them come and go safely,” said manager Angela Schutz.
Andrew Basilici, a 20-year-old New Haven resident, agreed that the initiative to expand access to the Yale Alerts system is a good idea. Both he and another Elm City local, 25-year-old Cory Matthews, said that they plan to sign up for the service.
The two New Haven residents said the service may be particularly useful for people enjoying nightlife around Yale’s campus.
“I could see it being very useful,” said Basilici, “Especially for kids going to Toad’s who aren’t always aware of the surrounding crime.”
Community members who wish to receive more information about crime surrounding Yale can utilize other resources. According to Lindner, Yale posts a daily crime log on its public safety website. The public safety website also includes an Annual Safety Report on Campus Crime and Fire Incidents, which is updated each October.
Lindner said community members interested in more detailed crime information should reach out to the New Haven police.
According to data released in October by the New Haven Police Department, homicides in the Elm City dropped 46.2 percent during the January-October period from 2011 to 2013.