Written by Bwog Staff
Given recent events, Bwog placed a call to Public Safety yesterday afternoon to find out how the department is reacting to Minghui Yu’s death and how they intend to make students feel more secure. [Edit: 3:24pm: Jim McShane email after the jump.]
According to Public Safety, officers do not currently patrol the area where Yu was attacked, around the Jewish Theological Seminary or the Teachers College—they are only permanently stationed at the Broadway and Amsterdam gates., “Officers were patrolling the area where Yu was attacked, both on foot and in vehicles. We have different guards at the gates and patrolling off campus,” said CU spokesperson Robert Hornsby in an email to Bwog. In an email from Associate Vice President for Public Safety Jim McShane, McShane announced that in recent months Columbia has been increasing its foot patrols and that as of last night, it had added an additional patrol vehicle (those massive SUVs you see crawling around campus).
The area around JTS and TC is monitored by surveillance cameras, but those are only used in investigating crimes and are not watched by officers. In reaction to Yu’s death, Public Safety said they will be hiring more officers to patrol the area and plan to redistribute the officers they do have.
More info: Public Safety operates two shuttle buses (one has a route west of campus, and the other, east) that you can catch from college walk that run from 7pm to 11pm and come every half hour. To get an escort to walk or drive you home from 8pm to 3am, call 212-854-SAFE. Bwog suggests you put that in your phone.
To the Columbia Community:
I am writing to inform you that the NYPD made an arrest early today in the tragic events of Friday evening that led to the death of PhD student Minghui Yu, a promising student in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, whose loss is mourned by family, friends, colleagues and community.
The subject of the arrest is a 14-year-old boy who will be prosecuted as a juvenile on the charge of manslaughter.
We are gratified and relieved that the police investigation has quickly resulted in an arrest in this case. In addition to the close relationship that we maintain with the NYPD, I would like to take this opportunity to reassure you again that your safety and security are our top priorities in the Department of Public Safety. To follow up on President Bollinger’s email yesterday, I would also like to share with you some of the specific things we are doing to safeguard our campus and to help ensure your safe passage throughout the community.
Uniformed Public Safety personnel are stationed at fixed locations throughout the Morningside area and at the Medical Center. These posts are supplemented by foot and motorized patrols that provide a highly visible presence around both campuses. In recent months, we have increased our foot patrols throughout the area, and, as of this weekend, we have added an additional patrol vehicle to expand our presence further within Morningside Heights.
We operate a series of shuttles to help ensure the safe travels of Columbians around and between our campuses. In addition to our intercampus service, we operate a Morningside Heights shuttle that provides scheduled service between 7:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. Thereafter, we provide on-call service between 11:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m. daily. This service ranges as far south as 103rd St. and as far north as 135th St. Resources permitting, we supplement this service with patrol vehicles. Recently, we added an additional point-to-point vehicle to provide additional shuttle service between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.
We also offer an escort service where trained students, equipped with Public Safety radios, will accompany you to your door any time from 7:00 p.m. until 3:00 a.m. This service is available between 108th St. and 122nd St. At the Medical Center, escorts are available between W. 165th Street and W. 181st St. For this escort service, call 212-854-SAFE on the Morningside Campus and 212-305-8100 at the Medical Center.
These and other measures are outlined in detail on the Public Safety website: http://www.columbia.edu/cu/publicsafety .
My team and I are here to keep you safe and sound. We look forward to working together with all of you, not only to keep our environment as safe as it is, but also to make our students, faculty and staff – and their families – feel safe. I encourage anyone with a concern to contact Public Safety at 212-854-2797, day or night.
James F. McShane
Associate Vice President for Public Safety