GVL / Macayla Cramer
GVL / Macayla Cramer

GVPD expands patrol areas, adjusts to accommodate off-campus residents

With packed residence halls at Grand Valley State University and overflow housing for students at off-campus housing units, the Grand Valley Police Department has expanded its reach. 

Some students, primarily upperclassmen and transfer students, applied for on-campus housing but were moved into an off-campus housing complex called Campus West due to campus residencies being at capacity.

Brandon DeHaan, Chief of GVPD said GVPD’s involvement with the off-campus leasing to Campus West maintains safety standards that are implemented on GVSU’s on-campus housing. 

“We need to look at some of the safety initiatives that we have identified specifically for our campus and ensure that those safety initiatives are also present at that property,” DeHaan said.

DeHaan said the university has made several additions to security protocols in the Campus West area, using state-of-the-art technology to ensure student safety.

“What we’ve done is we have added a series of security cameras, which would be similar to security camera views that we have on our Allendale campus and Grand Rapids campus. That’ll be an overview of the parking lots and buildings,” DeHaan said. “We are also in the process of developing our license plate recognition cameras, similar to what we have on the Allendale campus so we can capture that information as well.” 

DeHaan said with more people in off-campus housing, GVPD is dedicated to creating new safety measures for everyone in the area.

“All of those camera views will be under our camera policy or security camera policy and that’s the key,” DeHaan said. “Our intent here is really to afford those same initiatives that are on the Allendale campus, now over Campus West. We put time and effort into this to ensure that those initiatives are there.”

GVSU’s Department of Public Safety has a mission to “provide a safe and secure environment” for students, faculty, staff and visitors to “learn, live and work.” GVPD patrols campus 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to provide a safe environment for the GVSU community, a protocol that will be extended to the off-campus residents in Campus West. 

“GV police are doing proactive patrols in that (Campus West) area, so you will see Grand Valley Police cars over there,” DeHaan said. “We’ve been in conversation with our colleagues at the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office; they have the primary responders for that location. However, for any property that is owned, controlled, or at least under this guise for Campus West, we will be the first responders to those locations. Grand Valley Police are going to be over there.”

Working towards safety and navigating problems is not isolated to just GVPD, but it is a combined effort.

“What a lot of folks don’t know is we work very closely with our student affairs partners, and residential housing is part of that,” DeHaan said. “We meet weekly with Student Affairs and with housing issues, we share information, so when it comes to campus partners they are one of our closest allies. I think people need to know and understand that and again, if Grand Valley Police find anyone who’s engaged in any negative behavior, we’re going to make sure that student affairs is aware of that specific conduct. We work very closely with that entire crew.” 

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