Public safety: Alarming encounter on day one



Walking back to her room in Shiple Hall on her first day of class, freshman Markyia McCormick noticed someone who looked and acted out of place.

The 18-year-old freshman from Ohio called her dad, and asked what she should do.

As she approached the Quads, McCormick saw the suspicious man begin to chase a student on foot.

Witnessing the scene while her dad was on the phone, McCormick was about to hang up and call public safety.

But before she could, officers had responded.

“The officers on campus handled the situation very quickly,” she said. “That is the only time I haven’t felt safe on campus.”

Since then, McCormick walks the campus with confidence, feeling protected but always on alert for the unexpected and ready to protect herself.

The university has a 24-hour public safety force, and the McNichols campus is gated, with its one open entrance guarded at all times.

Visitors without parking permits are questioned before entering the campus.

Jess Bicknell, who’s also a student at the university, works at the guard booth.

Bicknell described her job as laid back and quite easy.

“I just scan my ID to let people in the gate onto campus,” she said.

Bicknell explained that she has denied people from entering the campus.

Most of the time they are simply in the wrong place trying to find a different location.

“The campus police are always on call and I have a campus phone in the box to call whenever I have a problem,” she said.

Detroit Mercy has plans for all sorts of emergencies, like tornados, active shooters and fire or bomb threats. The plans aim to keep students safe.

The university provides an emergency preparation report that all students have access to online so they can prepare themselves if the worst were to happen.

This report includes first-responder and emergency procedures, plans for exiting buildings and various crisis protocols.