UPDATE: Police see no indication of continuing threat in suicidal subject incident

An active investigation continues into an early Thursday morning report of a possibly suicidal person who may have been armed with a weapon near campus. Police officials, however, have no new information leading them to believe that the subject in question poses an ongoing threat to the University community.

The OUPD would like to remind community members that at all times, it is best to remain vigilant while moving around campus and to report all suspicious activity to University police at (248) 370-3331.

Campus community members are advised to program this number into their cell phones for ease of retrieval during an emergency. For more safety tips, visit oupolice.com.

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UPDATE: Police continue to investigate report of armed, suicidal person near campus

Police continue to investigate an early Thursday morning report of a possibly suicidal person who may have been armed with a weapon near campus.

According to the report, the individual was seen at approximately 2 a.m. in the area of Boulevard Apartments across from the Oakland University campus on Walton Blvd. As of 9:20 a.m. on Thursday, police report that the person has not been seen since.

The subject is described as a white male in his 20s with shoulder length hair and wearing a blue, long-sleeve, button-down shirt. Anyone who has seen or has information about this individual should dial 911 immediately.

At all times, the OU Police would also like to remind the community to:

  • Report all suspicious activity to the OU Police;
  • Utilize the “Visual Escort” program for walking escorts;
  • Travel in groups and avoid going out alone at night;
  • Stay alert to your surroundings and the people around you. Avoid wearing headphones, talking or texting on your cell phone, or anything which can distract you;
  • Travel in well lighted, busy pathways and streets;
  • Carry your cell phone with you and be prepared to call 911 in case of emergency or crime of violence;
  • If you witness a crime of violence, make note of the suspect’s description and direction of travel;
  • Program the number for The OU (248-370-3331) into your cell phone;
  • Know where the blue emergency phones are around campus. A map of campus emergency phones can be found at oupolice.com;
  • Report all suspicious people and circumstances to the Oakland University Police Department at (248) 370-3331;
  • Visit oupolice.com for more safety tips.
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OU ALERT: Possibly armed, suicidal person reported near campus

On Thursday, June 22, at approximately 2 a.m., the Oakland University Police Department received information from the Auburn Hills Police Department regarding a possibly suicidal person who may be armed with a weapon near campus.

According to the report, the individual is described as a white male in his 20s with shoulder length hair and wearing a blue, long-sleeve, button-down shirt. The person was last seen in the area of Boulevard Apartments across from the Oakland University campus on Walton Blvd. He remains at large.

Anyone who sees or has information about this individual should dial 911 immediately.

It can be assumed that conditions continue to exist that may pose a threat to members and guests of the campus community. Heightened awareness of surroundings is recommended.

At all times, the OU Police would also like to remind the community to:

  • Report all suspicious activity to the OU Police
  • Utilize the “Visual Escort” program for walking escorts
  • Travel in groups and avoid going out alone at night
  • Stay alert to your surroundings and the people around you. Avoid wearing headphones, talking or texting on your cell phone, or anything which can distract you
  • Travel in well lighted, busy pathways and streets
  • Carry your cell phone with you and be prepared to call 911 in case of emergency or crime of violence
  • If you witness a crime of violence, make note of the suspect’s description and direction of travel
  • Program the number for The OUPD (248-370-3331) into your cell phone
  • Know where the blue emergency phones are around campus. A map of campus emergency phones can be found at oupolice.com
  • Report all suspicious people and circumstances to the Oakland University Police Department at (248) 370-3331
  • Visit oupolice.com for more safety tips.
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New report ranks Oakland University third-safest college in nation

top100safecollegesOakland University is ranked among the safest colleges in the nation, according to a new report from a national trade organization dedicated to furthering public knowledge on home safety and security issues.

The National Council for Home Safety and Security ranked Oakland third on its list of the Top 100 Safest Colleges in America. According to the organization’s website, the list was compiled using the most recent data from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting and the National Center for Education Statistics.

OU Police Chief Mark Gordon called the report “a testament to the cooperation and commitment that the Oakland community has toward creating a safe environment.”

The report looked at accredited public, private and not-for-profit institutions that offer four-year degree programs and have student populations above 15,000. More than 2,000 colleges and universities were assessed. The top-ranked colleges had low overall crime rates, both on campus and in the surrounding community. Additional information about the report’s methodology can be found here.

Oakland University was ranked as the safest college in Michigan, ahead of Michigan State University (No. 10) and the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor (No. 29). The University of New Hampshire was ranked No. 1 on the list, followed by Brigham Young University at No. 2.

These rankings come on the heels of a 2016 report from CollegeChoice.net, which ranked Oakland No. 7 on its list of the 50 Safest Large Colleges and Universities in America.

Based in Washington D.C., the National Council for Home Safety and Security is a national trade association comprised of licensed alarm installers, contractors, and other relevant trade groups across the United States.

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South campus road restrictions to support hazardous waste drop-off

Map

In conjunction with an Oakland County household hazardous waste collection event taking place on campus, the Oakland University Police Department will restrict the use of South Oakland Drive and Library Drive to NoHaz participants between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 24. All other campus community members and visitors will be directed to use the campus’ main entrance or entrances off of Walton Boulevard or Adams Road.

Commuters are reminded that Pioneer Drive and the portion of Meadow Brook Drive south of the Police and Support Services Building are closed in conjunction with a campus parking expansion project. Likewise, the portion of Grizzly Lane north of the P-32 parking structure is closed in conjunction with the south campus housing construction project.

As a result of the June 24 road use restrictions and existing road closures, drivers including those participating in the NoHaz collection event will not be able to exit campus using Pioneer Drive or South Oakland Drive between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. Visitors leaving campus are advised to travel north on Pioneer Drive toward exits other than those on the southwest side of campus.

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Closure of P-38 to support campus wide parking expansion plan

Lot clousure

In conjunction with a project to add 660 parking spaces to existing campus lots, the University will close parking lot P-38, located immediately south of the Mathematics and Science Center (MSC), starting on Wednesday, May 24 and continuing through an expected completion date in mid-August.

Recommended alternatives for commuters accustomed to using the lot are the P-32 parking structure and the P-34 and P-36 parking lots located to the east of P-38.

Campus community members are also advised to avoid using the south entrances of the MSC, opting instead to use the east or west entrances, or entering the building through Hannah Hall or Dodge Hall.

Upon completion of the project, the University will open a one-way exit from the west side of P-38 onto Meadow Brook Road. Access to the lot will remain limited to the east side entrance off of Library Drive.

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Star Academy produces an OU star in the making

Taylor Williams

When people contact the Oakland University Police Department dispatch line needing any variety of help or information, there’s a good chance they could reach Dispatcher Taylor Williams, an Oakland University alumna.

Her story and path to joining the OUPD is an interesting one.

While a senior at Star International Academy in Dearborn Heights, Williams attended an Office of Public School Academies sponsored campus visit to Oakland University, where she fell in love with the beautiful landscape. As she interacted with students, faculty and staff, she realized OU was a special place and the right campus for her. Yet, it was definitely going to be a step out of her comfort zone as Williams would become the first in her family to attend college.

She remembered that first visit to Oakland, “Everyone was very kind and welcoming, I felt like I mattered and could be part of this campus environment,” Williams said.

Williams is very proud to tell people that she attended Star, which is also an OU chartered public school academy. She also credits her high school counselor for encouraging her to apply for scholarships that would help fulfill her dream to attend college. This encouragement led to several college applications, including the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Eastern University, and Oakland University. After receiving acceptance letters from all four institutions, Williams selected her top three choices and scheduled campus visits.

Upon her return to OU’s campus for an official visit, it still felt like home, which made her choice clear; she would become a Golden Grizzly. As an OU/PSA student, Williams received a $3,000 Renewable OU/PSA College Scholarship, which is available to qualifying high school seniors who attend OU chartered PSA’s and who matriculate to Oakland University. Due to her impressive high school academic performance, Williams qualified for several scholarships and received total funding that covered about 75 percent of her total tuition/housing costs.

Although the monetary support was definitely helpful, Williams says she found the accompanying “social/emotional support from the PSA Office most beneficial” and her journey while at OU was “simply phenomenal!”

In 2011, Williams began her studies in the OU Honors College, and although she changed her major several times, found her calling in the College of Arts and Science’s Criminal Justice program. Always public-spirited, her Criminal Justice thesis was entitled, “Banning the Box on Employment Applications.” She rationalizes that “It’s not necessarily a deterrent from employment opportunities” and asks, “What is the point of going to prison if you’re never going to be able to restart your life?”

When asked about her greatest academic impressions while a student at Oakland, Williams credits the passion of Dr. Amanda Burgess-Proctor, the influence and effectiveness of Dr. Jay Meehan, her introduction into the world of sociology by Dr. Jo Reger, and the incredible sign language immersion teaching methods of Tim Johnston.

Williams was not only committed to her OU academics, but expanded her college experience beyond the classroom through her involvement in campus activities. She was vice president of programming for the Residence Halls Association, vice president of the OU Sign Language Club, worked on campus and was an Auburn Hills Police Department volunteer. She also made many friends by living on campus and getting involved. In fact, her freshman resident assistant is now her best friend, and Williams even served as a bridesmaid in her wedding last fall.

Williams’s future plans include pursuing a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling in the College of Arts and Sciences as she continues her criminal justice career with the OUPD.

“The stars are truly the limit for Taylor in terms of her career trajectory,” said supervisor Lt. Terry Ross of the OUPD. “She was a model student and now we are very fortunate to have her continue as an ambassador of the university through her work on the police force.”

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Special thank you to Karen Lloyd, associate director of the Office of Public School Academies at Oakland University for the story idea and information.

Taylor Williams

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P-16 lot to be reserved for local high school commencement ceremonies

P 16 lot closures

In conjunction with the O’rena hosting a number of area high school commencement ceremonies, the P-16 parking lot – located northeast of O’Dowd Hall – will be partially closed and reserved for handicapped parking on the dates listed below. Closure of the southwest half of P-16 will start at 11 p.m. on the evening prior to each listed date and continue throughout that day.

  • Thursday, June 1
  • Friday, June 2
  • Sunday, June 4
  • Tuesday, June 6
  • Wednesday, June 7
  • Thursday, June 8
  • Friday, June 9
  • Saturday, June 10

Commuters eligible to use handicapped parking are advised that spaces in the P-18 parking lot – located immediately east of O’Dowd Hall – will remain open and accessible.

Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to plan in advance of this closure to use alternative parking areas as needed. The Oakland University Police Department appreciates the patience and cooperation of the faculty, staff and students during community events on campus.

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P-16 lot to be reserved for OUWB School of Medicine Commencement

P-16 lot to be reserved for OUWB School of Medicine Commencement

In conjunction with the 2017 Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine Commencement on Friday, May 12, the P-16 parking lot – located northeast of O’Dowd Hall – will be partially closed and reserved for handicapped parking. Closure of the southwest half of P-16 will start at 11 p.m. on Thursday, May 11, and continue throughout the day on Friday.

Commuters eligible to use handicapped parking are advised that spaces in the P-18 parking lot, located immediately east of O’Dowd Hall, will remain open and accessible.

Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to plan in advance of this closure to use alternative parking areas as needed. The Oakland University Police Department appreciates the patience and cooperation of the campus community during major University events.

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Walton Boulevard lane closures planned

The Oakland County Road Commission is starting a utility construction project on Walton Boulevard between Squirrel and Adams roads, which could result in traffic delays for campus commuters.

While work crews replace three drainage culverts located west of Adams Road, Walton Boulevard lane closures will result in a single lane being open in each direction.

Commuters are encouraged to avoid using the Walton Boulevard campus exits and to use Hamlin and Tienken roads as part of alternative routes to and from campus.

More detailed local, county and state road construction information can be found at the following websites:

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