Thirty more police officers will be added to the Southwest division surrounding the USC campus, Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck announced in a press conference Thursday morning. He was joined by USC President Max Nikias and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
Of those 30, four will specifically be assigned to the USC campus, according to KPCC.
The added patrols will be funded by the university -- not the city of Los Angeles, reported the Daily Trojan in a tweet from the media event.
The extra security measures are in response to the fatal shootings of two USC international students in early April. Since their murders, and then a subsequent robbery at gunpoint one week later, parents and students have been clamoring for the university to do more to beef up security on campus.
The press conference went on to highlight additional safety measures that both USC and the LAPD are enacting to keep the campus safe.
President Nikias had already announced those steps in a letter [PDF] to the students and faculty on Wednesday. The university's added measures include:
- An increase in university public safety officer car patrols and three-wheeled vehicle patrols
- More patrols on streets surrounding the campus: Jefferson, Figueroa, Vermont and Exposition
- A walking patrol on "The Row" (where fraternities and sororities are located)
- Increased security escorts for students during late night hours
- Improve street lighting by trimming trees
- Creating orientation programs to educate students about campus safety
- Increased student housing on campus. The first phase of the redevelopment of University Village will provide 3,000 additional student housing beds
- License plate recognition cameras
- Video patrol cameras
Nikias' letter also detailed the measures that the LAPD is taking to ensure campus safety:
- "Predictive policing" tools like "capacity computing" and "sophisticated algorithms"
- Increased coordination between campus public safety officers and LAPD officers
- Dedicated patrol cars to the USC area
Despite the violent shootings in the past month, crime around the USC area has declined 27 percent in two years, said Chief Beck at the news conference.
'This is an awful singular incident. But this is not the trend in the USC area' -Beck
— Daily Trojan (@dailytrojan) April 26, 2012
Together, the university and the city are offering a $200,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for the deaths of Ming Qu and Ying Wu. Chief Beck announced that investigators were making progress on the case, but he wouldn't elaborate, notes the Associated Press.
Grad student Dawn Megli tweeted a quote from Villaraigosa, who in his prepared remarks said that the entire city of Los Angeles took the students' deaths personally.
— Dawn Megli (@dawnmegli) April 26, 2012
Earlier on HuffPost:
USC students mourn Ming Qu and Ying Wu, two international grad students who were shot on April 13, 2012.