The University of Maryland and the Prince George's County police pledged this week to combine resources and assign more officers to patrol the areas surrounding the College Park campus in response to a report issued Monday.
The agreement comes after a seven-member task force -- created in the aftermath of the stabbing death of Brandon Malstrom in November at an off-campus party -- recommended in its report that security be increased along the Route 1 corridor and the college town's residential streets.
Annual costs to implement the recommendations will be about $375,000 to the universityto the county. University officials said an additional one-time cost of $283,000 is also necessary to start the process.
The task force included Col. David Mitchell, former superintendent of the state police; county Police Chief Gerald M. Wilson; Kenneth Krouse, campus chief; and Brandon DeFrehn, president of the student government.
Each member was assigned to study four topics that residents expressed interest in: transportation; police services; joint patrols by campus and county police; and crime prevention.
What follows are summaries and excerpts from the report:
* Transportation: Students said there wasn't enough "institutionally sponsored transportation service to the Route 1 corridor." Those complaints prompted the task force to recommend that various shuttles be redeployed, including routes currently running solely to the college's graduate housing units, which have had consistently low ridership.
The shuttle bus hours on those routes will be changed, affecting Graduate Hills, Graduate Gardens, Berwyn House and Berkeley Apartments.
Other services will be changed to accommodate students who use those routes:
A Courtyard Express Route will be added to serve 700 Courtyard residents providing access to the Comcast Center and downtown College Park, including Fraternity Row; that bus will run every half-hour.
A second bus on the Circuit Route will reduce wait times to 10 minutes and will help prevent the common problem of passengers being left behind because a bus is full, the report said. Evening bus service also will be expanded.
Video cameras will be installed in university shuttles to deter crime and improve safety, the report said.
* Police services: Complaints included "lack of police presence, enforcement and follow-up were consistent themes from both residents and students."
The task force's recommendations included additional overtime from Wednesday to Saturday, between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m. Also, the county Police Department is assigning additional officers until long-term solutions are put in place.
Long-term solutions include hiring six campus officers to staff a Route 1 corridor patrol unit from between 6 p.m. and 4 a.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays. County police will redeploy county officers to the same spots on weekends.
The two agencies also plan to form an interagency partnership for planning and training.
The campus police will offer training to students on hosting parties responsibly dealing with unwanted guests, severely intoxicated attendees and underage drinking.
* Joint patrols: County and campus police said they would redefine their boundaries so that more of College Park is covered by the campus police, especially the areas close to the university.
In addition, the county police will provide two officers between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights during the academic semesters.
Effective this week, the county will also assign one Community Oriented Policing Specialist to work as a "direct link" between the university campus police and the county police, with office space on Route 1.
* Crime prevention: The task force recommended that the City of College Park put together an interagency system to share crime data among all the agencies that operate in or near College Park.
The task force also encouraged residents to take responsibility for their personal safety, stressing that as long as "residents walk alone at night, are alone when intoxicated or under the influence of drugs or fail to secure their homes and property, they will be victims of crime."
The task force also suggested that better street lighting might deter crime, and recommended that the city hire a consultant to study the neighborhoods.