UPD Updates Technology

The SUNY New Paltz University Police Department (UPD) recently sent an email to all students regarding its latest updates.

The UPD launched a new anonymous telephone tip line in July. Students can use the telephone tip line to alert the UPD about concerns, crime tips, suggestions and complaints.

The tip line is a recorded line that students can call at 845-257-2230, or dial 2230 from any campus phone.

Chief of Police David Dugatkin said he hopes the tip line will encourage students to be more forthcoming with information.

“Sometimes somebody just might be a little more comfortable knowing that no one is going to know who they are and if that’s what it takes to get some information, that’s fine with me,” Dugatkin said.

Fourth-year psychology major Natalie Felsenfeld said she agrees that an anonymous tip line will increase student input for the UPD.

“People will more openly call in with tips and complaints when they know it cannot be connected back to them,” Felsenfeld said. “Some people have social phobias of talking to an actual person, a machine is much easier to talk to in a non-emergency situation.”

The anonymous telephone tip line is accessible 24/7 and checked every day  Dugatkin said. Callers can remain anonymous if they wish or can leave contact information if they would like the UPD to reach them for a follow-up or the results of an investigation.

In addition to the anonymous tip line, students can send the UPD anonymous messages and criminal activity tips by filling out a silent witness form on the UPD website or emailing them at Upd@newpaltz.edu.

Considering that so many students rely on social media to gather information, Dugatkin proposed that the UPD set up a Facebook page.

“It’s very user-friendly, it’s easy, it’s simple, it’s quick,” Dugatkin said. “That’s what people want today.”

The UPD Facebook page, at Facebook.com/newpaltzuniversitypolice, will provide updated UPD information, crime prevention tips and information regarding upcoming RAD and other training sessions offered by the UPD.

Dugatkin said the user-friendly Facebook page allows students to view UPD updates on their cell phones while walking down the street, as opposed to sitting on a laptop.

“The students know they can just simply log on, maybe read an update or give me something that I need to be updated about,” Dugatkin said. “It certainly benefits the University Police, but the main reason of doing this is to help the campus.”

Although the new Facebook page is an addition the UPD is very proud of, fourth-year Women’s Studies major Kate Montelione expresses a different opinion.

“I don’t understand why the creation of a Facebook page is to be praised,” Montelione said. “Making a Facebook page is much less important than putting pictures of the officers next to the names on their website or extending the frequency and convenience of the RAD program.”

The Police hope the new updates will not only help the UPD connect with its student body, but also encourage students to play a larger role in campus safety. Dugatkin said the anonymous tip line has worked a couple of times already and the Facebook page has acquired more than 100 “likes” in less than two months.