Tower Village, also known as “Old Mill,” has made the presence of Department of Public Safety officers more visible in its apartment complex across from the University of Dallas in an effort to keep the noise down for residents, according to the apartments’ manager Chance Gourd.
Gourd said that DPS officers, also known as State Troopers, have always patrolled the apartment complex across from the university seven days a week, but that this year they are more visible for the residents.
“What we are trying to do is just to raise awareness,” Gourd said. “We can never ensure security; we can only raise awareness.”
He said that the University of Dallas reached the decision together with Tower Village to make the presence of State Troopers more visible in an effort to raise awareness, but he denied that the decision had to do with a rise in criminal activity there.
“To say that crime is down, when you’ve never really had a crime problem – you can’t really say that,” Gourd said in reference to crime activity since the heightened presence of DPS officers.
Between June 2010 and July 2011, Irving Police reported a total of 30 crimes in Tower Village. Cases of theft and domestic violence assault were the most frequent.
The number of reported crimes at Tower Village surpasses those of smaller apartment complexes in Irving Police beat 51, which includes Rochelle Place, Rochelle Plaza and Wingren Village. However, Wingren Village, which has 102 more apartments than “Old Mill,” surpassed Tower Village with 32 reported crimes.
Since the beginning of the school year, Irving Police have reported three crimes – one of criminal trespass and two cases of domestic violence assault.
The State Troopers, however, have focused their efforts in decreasing noise levels from student gatherings for the residents, especially the non-UD residents, according to Gourd.
“What the troopers are here for is when the residents are having problems with loud music,” he said. “They are here basically for the residents.”
Students familiar with Tower Village night life agreed with Gourd.
Senior business and economics major Todd Jacobson said that the State Troopers are more visible, but that they focus on making students lower the noise.
“I think it’s more for the noise than anything else,” he said. “There are families living right next to the students – that’s the big reason.”
Junior politics major Johnny Lappe said that from his experience, the DPS officers make themselves seen but typically do not pursue students for arrest.
“People get busted, but nothing happens after that,” he said. “Nobody actually gets in trouble, which is nice.”
Jacobson, on his part, said that he doesn’t feel any safer with the increased presence of State Troopers – but that he has never considered Tower Village to be dangerous for students.
“It seems like once in a while a UD student gets robbed, but I have never heard of any UD student having a confrontation with a gun or something,” he said.