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Public Safety Commission discusses homelessness near UT

Monday, May 9, 2016 by Elizabeth Pagano

The Public Safety Commission heard testimony from law enforcement and a number of activists Monday on the issue of homelessness near the UT campus. The discussion was largely a response to the recent murder of 18-year-old UT student Haruka Weiser. A homeless 17-year-old boy, Meechaiel Criner, has been charged with the homicide. While acknowledging the recent tragedy, Assistant Police Chief Chris McIlvain noted that crime had declined significantly in the campus area in recent years and said that the police had noted “a marked decrease in homelessness in the area.” He and other members of law enforcement emphasized, however, that cops could do only so much to address the issues that cause homelessness. Colton Becker, communications director for the UT student government, said that students wanted greater police presence in the campus area. The decline in crime was welcome but “does not negate” the murder of Weiser, he said.

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