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A Special View from Gibson - An Update and Reward

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

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Dear Tulane Community:

I thank all of you who have written to me about the robbery that occurred Saturday afternoon at the Lavin-Bernick Center for University Life (LBC). Like you, I am shocked and angered by this brazen act committed against our students in the very heart of the uptown campus.

To ensure the capture of the person responsible for this cowardly act, Tulane is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to his arrest and indictment. If you have any information regarding the identity of this perpetrator, please contact Crimestoppers at 504-822-1111 or crimestoppersgno.org. Anyone contacting Crimestoppers can remain anonymous.

As you may have noticed, we have increased our police presence at the LBC and throughout campus. The Tulane University Police Department is a full-service law enforcement agency with a force of 105 officers who provide protection to our campuses and surrounding areas. We plan to enhance this presence even further, augmenting our campus police patrols with officers from Landmark Security and continuing to pay for additional New Orleans police patrols on the streets surrounding campus.

We continue to vigorously investigate this robbery, interviewing witnesses and reviewing camera footage for a clear image of the suspect. This includes a partial view captured by the body camera worn by a TUPD officer who responded to the crime.

In addition, there will be a Town Hall meeting featuring Tulane Police Superintendent Jon Barnwell discussing this crime and campus safety in general at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 20, in Jones Hall, Room 102. The Town Hall, which is co-sponsored by the USG's Student Safety Committee, is open to the entire Tulane community. I also want to remind everyone that we have many university resources available through CAPSand TUPD for anyone who has been the victim of a crime or is feeling anxious or concerned about these recent incidents.

While Saturday's robbery is unacceptable and calls for the doubling of our safety efforts and vigilance, it is important to remember that an incident like this on Tulane’s campus is extremely rare. The gun crime that was reported last month at the library proved to be a false report and the suspect in the recent Josephine Louise Hall burglary was quickly apprehended.

I pledge to spare no effort in bringing the suspect in Saturday’s incident to justice, as well, and in restoring full confidence in the safety of our campus home.

Signature of Mike Fitts