13:35 PM

UHD Rounds Out Top 10 for Safest Campuses

University Among Institutions Where Violent Crime is Least Common


By Sheryl E. Taylor

A recent study from the online financial guidance publication ValuePenguin (produced by LendingTree) found the University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) to be among the top 10 colleges and universities in the U.S. where students are least likely to experience crime overall, including violent crime.

ValuePenguin’s data analyzed the probability of U.S. students experiencing property or violent crime over a four-year period. According to the publication’s calculations, the chances of UHD students experiencing violent crime is well below the national median. Its data also suggests that approximately 11 out of every 1,000 students experience property crime (burglary, larceny, arson and other incidents) during a four-year period on campus.

Rankings were compiled using FBI data on crimes reported at U.S. universities and colleges. Schools surveyed included universities and colleges with enrollments of more than 10,800 in 2018. Complete details on ValuePenguin’s analysis can be found in its full report.

The report also suggests that urban institutions such as UHD are among those with the least crime.

“It's often assumed that urban colleges are more prone to crime than other types of campuses,” the report states. “However, we found that most of the schools with low crime probability in the country are urban or suburban.”

This ranking validates UHD’s efforts in maintaining a secure, safe campus where students can focus on learning.

“This recent recognition is a testament to the dedication and commitment of our command staff and officers who work diligently to ensure that the UHD Community remains a safe place to learn, teach, and work,” said University of Houston-Downtown Police Chief Michael Benford.

The UHD Police Department (UHDPD) is staffed with 25 officers, 15 security officers and seven dispatch personnel. The campus is equipped with 182 call boxes located near entrances/exits and in elevators. In addition to patrolling on foot, UHD officers extend their range and effectiveness through the use of bicycles, Segways and four-wheel ATVs. UHDPD’s services include motorist and police escort assistance. More details can be found here.

The UHD community is UHDPD’s s greatest resource in maintaining campus safety to serve as the eyes and ears by reporting unusual behavior or activity on or near campus by calling 713-221-8065 (non-emergency) or 713-221-8911 (emergency).

Community members also are encouraged to sign up for alerts or use Twitter’s “Fast Follow” (text “follow UHD_Alerts” to 40404). Also, consult UHDPD Crime Prevention tips. Here are proactive safety tips:

Vehicle Safety

  • Keep vehicles locked and windows closed at all times
  • Remove valuable items from plain view or store valuables in the car's trunk
  • Be sure to have keys ready when walking to your car
  • Check car for intruders
  • Ensure cell phone is fully charged, especially when driving
  • Secure/lock unattended bicycles or motorcycles

Campus Safety

  • If parked in off-campus lots; do not walk alone; walk in groups; arrange for an escort UHD Police Escort Assistance, or use the University shuttle bus service
  • Never leave property unattended in public places, even for a few minutes
  • Be alert—don't allow technology to distract; avoid wearing earplugs, headphones, or text/talk while walking
  • Familiarize yourself with fire safety plans and building evacuation routes
  • Keep important phone numbers on hand for fire, intrusion or other emergencies
  • Carry small amounts of cash
  • Do not post compromising or private information on social media
  • Report any unusual activity and suspicious individuals to UHD Police
  • Report lost and stolen property to UHD Police

Office Safety

  • Keep office doors and desk drawers closed and locked—during and after business hours
  • Report stolen keys to the UHD Police Department and lost keys to Facilities Management
  • Keep wallet, purse, cash and other valuables in a secure and locked location

For more information on the UHD Police Department and security services, FAQs and crime statistics, visit the UHD Police Department's website.

The UHD Police Department suggests that all students, faculty and staff members store UHD's emergency contact information in their mobile devices in case of an emergency.

Emergency: 713-221-8911  Non-Emergency: 731-221-8065  Email: UHDPolice@uhd.edu

About the University of Houston-Downtown

The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is the second-largest university in Houston and has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974. As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive, four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.

U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.