Administration taking safety steps

The robbery of four students near Brightleaf Square early Friday morning and the robbery near Edens early Saturday morning have created understandable anxiety. I want everyone to know of the steps we have already put in place and some of our plans to ensure that we provide a safe and secure environment for the Duke community.

As the academic year began, Duke Police instituted a program with Durham Police to provide expanded patrols on 9th Street and immediately off of East Campus. We also hired contract safety personnel to supplement the work of the Duke Police on campus. Starting this Saturday we expanded those programs, authorized additional overtime for Duke Police, the hiring of additional contract personnel and expanded the joint patrols with the Durham Police department on campus. Saturday night, in addition to the normal complement of weekend police and safety personnel, there were additional police officers on West, East and Central. Additional contract officers, bringing their total to 15, were on West campus. All of these officers were on foot, bike and Segways. Eight additional security personnel were in vehicles. On Sunday, we also utilized expanded crews of Durham Police, contract officers and safety personnel to supplement the normal assignment of Duke Police. I have authorized these expanded patrols for the foreseeable future. Members of the campus community can expect to see a far more visible presence of police and safety personnel, especially at night and on weekends. We will send a signal to anyone who might think of coming to the campus to commit a crime.

Last week, President Richard Brodhead asked me to head a group of senior administrators, including vice presidents Dawkins, Moneta and Burness to work with Duke Police and to detail a plan that will include different deployment of personnel and resources to meet our safety challenges.

Considerable work had already been done over the summer, but President Brodhead asked that this planning process be accelerated. For obvious reasons we will not be able to reveal all aspects of our plans but we will share the outline with the campus community by the end of the month.

I want to report some good news. Last spring, a student was accosted in her Central Campus apartment. Fortunately, after she protested, the person left and she was unharmed. In August, Duke Police arrested a suspect. His case goes to court in October.

Ours is essentially a safe campus. Duke is an open campus where more than 30,000 people gather every day. We have the largest university police force in the state deployed over West, East and Central campuses as well as a medical center which has its own security needs. It is, nonetheless, important that members of the university community take appropriate steps to help ensure their own safety.


Tallman Trask III

Executive Vice President


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