Student Communications: 2/13/12

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From: President Simmons

February 13, 2012

Dear Members of the Brown Community,

As you are aware from alerts from the Department of Public Safety, there have been three robberies in the area north of campus since the beginning of the semester. These incidents have understandably raised concerns among community members about personal safety, and I am writing to inform the campus of the significant steps we are taking to address these incidents.

Following the first reported robbery on January 28th, the Department of Public Safety had already increased Brown Campus Police Officers patrols on College Hill and in the Jewelry District. However, effective immediately, the number of officers and security personnel from Brown and the Providence Police Department are being further increased on and around the College Hill campus. Members of the community can expect to see an even more visible police and security post presence starting this evening.

Colonel Mark Porter met yesterday and today with commanders from the Providence Police Department to coordinate patrol and deterrence measures as well as the ongoing investigation of the reported incidents. Any member of the community with information regarding any of these matters is encouraged to call the Department of Public Safety at 863-3322 or the Providence Police Department at 272-3121.

The University will also be engaging a nationally recognized external consultant to conduct a study and make further recommendations regarding safety measures as well as lighting on and around the campus.

Last week, Margart Klawunn, Russell Carey, and Colonel Porter sent a communication to all students with an update on campus safety and reminders of important safety tips. Important information regarding steps we all can take to decrease the chances of being the victim of a crime follow below, and I strongly encourage all members of the community to read and follow this guidance.

As noted in the communication to students, overall, the level of crime on and around the campus has decreased significantly over the past several years. The University has increased police officer staffing in the Department of Public Safety in order to have more officers on patrol, and investments and improvements have been made in safeRIDE transportationblue light emergency phones, security cameras, and lighting throughout the campus. Brown is, however, an urban campus and we are not immune from criminal activity in the city. We do not want members of the community to be overly alarmed or concerned, but we do wish to remind you to exercise caution and to follow the guidance from Public Safety, as described below.

Members of the community with questions, concerns or suggestions should feel free to be in contact with Colonel Mark Porter or Russell Carey at any time.


Ruth J. Simmons

 Guidance from the Department of Public Safety

  • Trust your instincts. Be alert to your surroundings and other people. Talking on your phone or listening to music with headphones will make you less aware of your surroundings. If you hear the same footsteps behind you, don't be afraid to take a quick glance over your shoulder, and change your direction of travel. If possible, walk into a nearby business or building that is occupied by many people to divert a possible criminal. If at all possible, avoid putting yourself in isolated areas.
  • If at all possible, do not walk alone at night. If you must walk alone, advise a friend of your estimated time of arrival and use the Brown Rave Guardian service on your cell phone (registration is free to all students). Familiarize yourself with the locations of the safeRIDE shuttle stops. If you are out after safeRIDE service ends, call Public Safety for a ride.
  • Program the Emergency Number for Public Safety – (401) 863-4111 – into your phone. Do not hesitate to call if you are concerned for your safety or observe suspicious behavior.
  • When on campus, familiarize yourself with the locations of our blue light Emergency phones. These phones are located on most University buildings, walkways, and all residence halls, and provide a direct connection to the Public Safety Communications Center.
  • Do Not Resist a subject that uses or threatens to use force or a weapon when attempting to rob you of your property. Comply, give up the belongings demanded, go to a safe space at once, and call DPS at (401) 863-4111 immediately.

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