In the aftermath of Sunday evening's armed robbery between Perkins and Bostock libraries, administrators are weighing a number of security changes—including restricting access to campus roadways for the first time.
The announcement follows a summer in which the University saw several robberies on Central Campus and resulting increases in security staffing and changes to landscaping. Although no decisions have yet been made about a response to Sunday's crime, the University is considering shutting down cross-campus streets such as Towerview Road at night, said Vice President for Administration Kyle Cavanaugh in a meeting with media representatives Monday.
"We're talking about a couple of roads like Towerview that are straight cut-throughs—there's traffic that's coming on to campus and just driving through," Cavanaugh said. "That's the access we'd be trying to mitigate."
The robbery occurred Sunday at approximately 10:00 p.m.. The suspect is described as a black male—5 feet 7 inches with a medium build, 160 to 170 pounds and 20 to 30 years of age, according to a Duke Alert email sent at 10:28 p.m on Sunday. He was wearing a black jacket, black pants and bandana over his face and carried a silver handgun. No new information about the robbery can be made available at this time, Cavanaugh said.
"It's an incredibly frustrating event for us," he said. "We've made enormous changes from spring and summer in staffing, in physical layout...now we're looking at the next option that we have, which is restricting access to some of these roads."
He noted that if the University opts to shut down roads, it will do so for all vehicles—meaning that individuals with DukeCards will not be able to swipe their cars through, as is the case with parking lots.
Though an official decision has not yet been made, Cavanaugh said that restricting road access is currently the option that "makes the most sense."
"If we [restrict access],we want to do it with full disclosure and with appropriate consultation," he said.
Security presence will be refocused around the area of the incident as well, Cavanaugh noted.
"Any time we have an event as offensive as this one, we always want to be concerned," he said. "We’re putting all the resources we possibly can. It’s the single highest priority we have, keeping our students, our faculty and staff and our visitors safe."