Paw prints may be temporarily gone from campus, but safety isn’t


A student walks across the previous spot of a Cats Path marker near White Hall on her way to class on the morning of Friday, August 25, 2017 on the University of Kentucky campus in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Arden Barnes | Staff

Kaitlyn Skovran

Once familiar landmarks on UK’s campus, the Wildcat paw prints, which marked safe paths, have disappeared from the pavement.

There is no cause for alarm though, according to UK Chief of Police Joe Monroe, because the paw prints will be back to once again leave their marks on campus.

The original paw prints were beginning to chip away and were difficult to maintain over time, prompting UK to remove the safety markers.

The markers are currently undergoing a makeover, Monroe said, but in the meantime, students can stay safe by maintaining situational awareness.

“Don’t get focused on your phone, or have your earbuds in and not be able to hear. Make sure you know what is going on around you,” Monroe said.

One way students can be safe at night is by utilizing the LiveSafe app, which is free to download and provides users a way to communicate with officers, family and friends. You can request a SafeRide or have friends virtually walk you home.

The Student Government Association and UK Police Department teamed up to bring this app to students, staff and faculty to prevent crime and enable better incident response.

Another way students can ensure a safe trip home is with the SAFECATS escort service. The UKPD and the Flying Wildcats Booster Club sponsor the program that has ROTC cadets escort people at night, using police radios and sometimes a golf cart, Monroe said.

“Walking where there are the emergency poles and those areas that are more well-lit makes me feel safe on campus all the time,” mathematical economics freshman Taylor Mullins said.

Mullins lives on campus near the William T. Young Library and when she’s out, especially at night, she said she tries to stay safe by walking with a friend.

According to Monroe, UK’s campus is outfitted with 3,000 cameras to keep an eye on things.

“It lets the bad guys know we have the cameras and if they are coming here to commit crime, we’re going to catch them,” Monroe said.