WT Named Safest Campus in Texas, in Top 10 of Nation

students on wtamu campus
Chip Chandler Apr 27, 2020
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CONTACT: Assistant Chief of Police Robert D. Byrd, 806-651-2301, 

CANYON, Texas — A national security association has ranked West Texas A&M University among the Top 10 safest campuses in the country — and No. 1 in Texas.

Your Local Security examined data from the U.S. Department of Education’s Campus Safety and Security and the FBI’s 2018 Uniform Crime Report to determine its 2020 rankings. WT is the only school in Texas to make the list. The University is ranked higher than such schools as Dartmouth College, University of California — Irvine and Bowling Green State University.

“Personal safety is of utmost importance at all times, but especially during the current circumstances,” said WT President Dr. Walter Wendler. “I am proud of the University Police Department and the City of Canyon for keeping our community safe. This recognition certifies that WT is a safe home for students, and we will continue to keep it that way.”

Safety rankings such as this are key information as students and parents are considering higher education options.

“Incoming freshmen can feel better entering college when they know their campus has crime prevention measures and crisis management systems in place to ensure lower crime rates,” Your Local Security officials said in their announcement.

In WT’s case, statistics showed that the University has one of the list’s lowest rates in hate crimes and violence against women — only .32 cases per 10,000 people. The overall violent crime rate is .90 per 10,000 people. WT’s property crime rate also is low — 7.69 per 10,000 people — and the University was specially cited for its on-campus lock shops that allow students to safely secure valuables.

Check here for the full list.

Robert D. Byrd, Assistant Chief of University Police, attributes WT’s high campus-safety ranking not only to the caliber of people who live and work in the Panhandle area, but also to his department’s work ethic and community policing philosophies.

“The agencies that we have at WT and in the area around WT are very proactive in ensuring the safest communities that we can provide,” Byrd said. “We’re not just stopping cars; we’re getting out and talking to people and to students in buildings all around campus just to show that the UPD is part of the community.

“We also have numerous safety programs that we can provide for students and staff at just about any time, and when we do get a report of a crime, we jump on it as quickly as possible to solve it,” he continued. “We’re very concerned about the safety of our students, staff and faculty, and we do our very best to serve everyone.”

The Methodology

Your Local Security took data from the FBI and the U.S. Department of Education and narrowed its focus to public, private and nonprofit institutions with a minimum of 5,000 students offering two-or four-year degrees.

The company evaluated the safety of a college campus based on a combination of these factors:

  • Violent crimes per 10,000 people
  • Property crimes per 10,000 people
  • Hate crimes per 10,000 people
  • Number of Violent Against Women Act (VAWA) offenses per 10,000 people

After analyzing those factors, Your Local Security determined each school’s overall crime score. The overall list includes schools in 47 states; colleges in Hawaii, Iowa and Mississippi didn’t submit information to the FBI and are missing a safest college on the list.

Your Local Security says it aims to provide security tools and information needed to build a safer home environment. For media inquiries, contact