UPDATE AS OF 10/12/12: Since this post, an arrest was made in the armed robberies and the suspect is now in custody. For the latest information see BU Today’s article.
While I prefer to write about happy and educational points of interest in my weekly letter, this week I will address a safety issue concerning a recent rash of robberies on campus. We have reached out to the BU police to ask for advice about how best to handle this. They have informed us that the Boston, Brookline, and BU police are all working together and have added extra patrols to the area. They also directed us to the article that was online at BU Today with the BUPD’s suggestions on how people should protect themselves. As I have shared with our students, the BU police stress not to text/use cellphones and not to wear headphones, as both of these activities can distract a student from being aware of the surroundings and of people nearby. Also our students should be sure to walk with others and not alone. The police encourage people to call immediately if they see anything suspicious (617-353-2121). There are blue call boxes around campus, so our student should look proactively for those now, in case they need them suddenly later (including one at the grassy corner of the Academy’s front yard, near the mouth of the parking lot driveway).
Here is some of the information from BU Today:
Boston University Police added three more patrols to the area of the crimes in the immediate wake of the second robbery, and Brookline Police also stepped up patrols.
BUPD Chief Thomas Robbins warns students who see anything suspicious not to confront people on the street. Rather, he says, concerned members of the community can anonymously text information to the BUPD at tip411 (847411), keyword: BU.
BUPD Detective Lieutenant Peter DiDomenica advises students living on or off campus to follow some basic safety precautions:
- Avoid poorly lit areas late at night.
- Get a ride instead of walking. If walking is the only option, do so in large groups.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Don’t wear headphones or talk on your cell phone.
- At the first sign of trouble, dial 911 or the BUPD at 617-353-2121.
BUPD urges students, faculty, and staff to report suspicious people and activity on or near campus by calling 617-353-2121 or text messaging tip411 (847411), keyword: BU.
While I regret that our students have to be troubled by these robberies, it is a lesson in urban life that will protect them in future years, wherever they might go.
James S. Berkman
Head of School