Kill switch and 4 Es to fight University of Minnesota crime - KMSP-TV

'Kill switch' and 4 Es to fight Univ. of Minnesota crime

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Photo by Tim Blotz Photo by Tim Blotz

University of Minnesota leaders kicked off the spring semester Tuesday with an outline of how they plan to fight the spike in campus crime. During the fall semester there were 25 reported robberies on campus -- the most since 2005.

The crime fighting approach is focused on 4 areas:

1. Education

2. Environment

3. Enforcement

4. Engagement

Added to the U of M's 4-pronged initiative is Sen. Amy Klobuchar's legislation to require a "kill switch" on all smart phones. A bill that will be introduced this session would give all smart phone users the ability to clear any sensitive information from their phone and render it inoperable to thieves.

"The point of the kill switch legislation is to take this $550-device that, in the hands of the owner, has some value and to turn it into a worthless paper weight," Rep. Joe Atkins explained.

The kill switch bill is a direct response to a national trend of 'Apple picking' crimes, in which iPhones are targeted by thieves. A single iPhone can fetch about $450. Retail value without a contract plan for a 16G iPhone 5s, the most recent model, is $649.

Jan. 3: U of M student attacked near Dinktytown CVS Pharmacy
Dec. 8: Woman threatened with gun while brushing snow off car
Nov. 30: Bus stop robbery, assault outside University Village
Nov. 27: Student pepper-sprayed in attempted kidnapping
Nov. 24: Student sexually assaulted by man impersonating police officer
Nov. 23: Student robbed by 3 men while walking home
Nov. 20: U of M student robbed at gunpoint on porch
Nov. 11: Attempted armed robbery of student at Anderson Hall
Oct. 31-Nov. 1: String of armed robberies and assaults
Oct. 27: U of M student sexually assaulted near Van Cleve Park
Oct. 13: U of M students victims of 4 separate robberies
Oct. 5: Robbery and assault at 11th Ave. SE and 7th Street SE
September: String of armed robberies in Marcy-Holmes




- Continue to issue campus crime alerts

- Possibly expand self-defense workshops

- Review procedures for assisting victims of crimes

- Enhance Safety and U website


- Campus Connector shuttle hours extended to 2 a.m. 7 days a week

- Free Gopher Chauffeur service expanded to 10 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. Thursday-Saturday

- Change light fixtures from yellow sodium bulbs to white metal halide bulbs to increase brightness

- Develop a plan to improve lighting in other high-traveled corridors

- Develop a plan to add security cameras on highly-traveled pedestrian routes like University Avenue and Church Street

- Implementing a building access program by the end of the spring semester to limit access without proper ID


- Continue undercover and uniformed police patrols on campus and off-campus

Add 20-30 student staff to the Security Monitor Program for total of 150

- Add 4 officers to 9:30 p.m. to 3 a.m. patrols, Thursdays through Saturdays


- Focusing university outreach to nearby neighborhoods, landlords and the business community to encourage them to develop and implement their own local safety-related investments

- Advocating for federal and state legislation mandating "kill switch" technology

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