University of Houston - Downtown campus.
University of Houston - Downtown campus. Credit: UH-D

In an effort to increase campus safety and, by extension, provide more protection for its downtown neighbors, the University of Houston – Downtown is hosting its inaugural “Keeping Downtown Safe: UHD Safety Conference” on Wednesday, Sept. 20, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

The event will take place on the UH-D campus, located at One Main Street, N912F, Houston, TX 77002.

UH-D’s police department is the campus entity responsible for organizing the free event that the general public is encouraged to attend. The conference has scheduled “dynamic speakers and interactive demonstrations” according to a UH-D statement. The event is described as a “come and go” event with session topics scheduled in 30-minute blocks.

“With downtown Houston as the backdrop to our campus, UH-D is in a unique geographic location in terms of law enforcement and crime prevention,” said UH-D Police Chief Casey Davis, Ph.D. “Through our commitment to the UH-D community in keeping every student, faculty member, staff member and visitor safe, the UH-D Police Department also works closely with our local law enforcement agencies to ensure a safer downtown.”

Skyline of the Houston, TX downtown district.
Skyline of the Houston, TX downtown district. The photo was taken from the west, over Buffalo Bayou. Credit: David Daniel Turner

Maisha Walker, a young professional whose office is located in Downtown Houston, appreciates the idea behind the conference.

“I generally feel safe in Downtown Houston, but you can never be too careful,” said the first-year accountant. “Any efforts taken by area institutions to beef up safety measures and safety awareness are welcomed and appreciated.”

Created by Davis and coordinated by Lt. Vanessa Gay, the conference will address such topics as personal safety, behavioral health, campus safety, suicide prevention and crime reporting.

Conference speakers include, but are not limited to, Davis; Detective Monica Fortson, Houston Police Department; Lt. Roy Guinn, Harris County Constable Pct. 5; and Naomi Berger-Perez, UH-D director of counseling services. Demonstrations and information will be displayed by exhibitors, local law enforcement and fire services on self-defense, gun safety, first aid, cyber safety and more.

“Keeping Downtown Safe: UHD Safety Conference” will take place in ACAD A300 and the Wilhelmina Cullen Robertson Auditorium of One Main Street. Parking is available in the UHD Visitor Parking Garage, 201 Girard Street.

For more information, visit

I'm originally from Cincinnati. I'm a husband and father to six children. I'm an associate pastor for the Shrine of Black Madonna (Houston). I am a lecturer (adjunct professor) in the University of Houston...