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As many students look forward to leaving Penn for a summer of relaxation, the Division of Public Safety is preparing for what is one of its busiest periods of the year.

"It's a fallacy that as the vast majority of the student population leaves, out workload decreases," Captain Joseph Fischer said. "The challenges are in fact even greater over the summer."

One reason for this is that while during the academic year there are many people on the streets of University City, over the summer people will often walk around alone or in smaller groups, Fischer said.

Students who live off-campus often rent year-round, he said, and may be walking home on much less busy streets.

To protect these potentially easier targets, DPS will increase the number officers assigned to foot patrol over the summer, Fischer said.

After the incidents with large disorderly crowds on 40th Street in the past few months, DPS has also been working with the City's Recreation Department to develop a "measured response" to area youth spending time on campus as the weather gets warmer, Vice President for Public Safety Maureen Rush said in a previous interview.

DPS will also take special measures to ensure the security of the many empty buildings in University City over the summer.

First and foremost, Fischer urged students vacating property over the summer not to leave any valuables behind in their houses or apartments.

Bicycles left on campus over the summer will be removed by Penn Police, who check all the bike racks on campus the week after graduation for abandoned bikes, he said.

As for the many Greek houses that stand empty over the summer, DPS will coordinate with the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs to ensure they remain secure.

DPS requests that each fraternity and sorority send them a list of any contractors who will have access to the house to carry out maintenance over the summer, including the dates for which the work is scheduled, Fischer said.

Deputy Chief of Investigations Michael Morrin added that the Allied Barton security guards also maintain a full staff over the summer, and are ready to increase their numbers or re-deploy at any time, should the need arise.

Rush said that the summer months are always a period for which DPS takes particular care in planning its operations.

"The activity at Penn over the summer gets larger and larger every year," she said. "It is certainly not a time we can sit back."

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