Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

SUPD chief talks campus safety and alert

Ryan Boyle
Journal Staff

For a select few, it’s the perfect crime of opportunity.  A young man starts to descend the steps on Beacon Street into the Boston Common– ear buds blasting music, his hand clutching a brand new iPod Touch.  Seconds later, another man, rushes him from behind, knocking the device out of his hand, sending it to the ground. The unknown assailant snatches the device and sprints off.

Although the incident described here is only an example, it’s a reality that can happen to any college student in Boston. Suffolk Police Chief John Pagliarulo’s message to students: “Always use caution, you’re in an urban institution.  Be alert, walk together in groups, keep your head clean.”  The Chief’s message is simple; keeping those two thoughts in mind on the way home can be enough to prevent yourself and your friends from becoming victims.

“They never ask for an ID.  I feel like anybody could just walk in.  The building here, who’s stopping anybody from saying, ‘Give me your MacBook?’” said junior Ornella Greaf while she sat in the Sawyer Lounge which, like most academic buildings at Suffolk, doesn’t require an ID to enter.

Universities, including Suffolk, that accept financial aid must disclose information regarding crimes that take place on campus and surrounding areas to students in an annual report by October 1 under the Clery Act. Suffolk University’s annual report has been released, and is available for students to view online. .  In addition to releasing a yearly report, the university is mandated to maintain a incident log viewable by all students, report fire statistics for on-campus housing, provide “timely-warning” incident notifications, establish emergency notification procedures, and establish procedures for security and fire safety.

Senior Jessica Richards said overall she feels the campus is safe. “I’ve been here for four years, never had a bad experience, as long as you mind your business.”

In the 2009 annual report, there was one reported on-campus robbery, one on-campus arrest resulting from a drug law violation, and a combined total of 673 drug and alcohol violations in the residence halls.

Upon reviewing the yearly report, sophomore Andy Cataluma said he was “surprised at how sparse the incidents were in the report. I thought there would be more incidents, so we’re relatively safe.”

“It’s good and I’m always concerned. Safety is a very fluid word, what might be safe to you is not safe to me,” said Suffolk Chief Pagliarulo of the security situations at Suffolk.

“I feel moderately safe.  If it’s me alone, and it’s like 9:00, I’d rather not walk through the common alone” said sophomore Angel Mar.

Pagliarulo advises students to always remain aware of their surroundings, travel in groups, always carry a cell phone, most importantly to walk next to businesses and travel in well lighted areas when out at night.

The Suffolk Police offers a 24/7 escort program between campus buildings, residence halls, nearby by parking garages and select MBTA stations. To date, 21 students have utilized this service from the SUPD.  To request an escort, students can call the SUPD at 617-573-8113. A dispatcher will answer and request that the student provides a location where the uniformed police officer is to meet the student and record the student’s name and ID number. An officer will then meet the student at the desired location and walk them to their end destination.  SUPD escorts are walking only at this time; officers will not drive students, nor will they go to areas such as the North End or other off-campus locations.

Pagliarulo encourages students to “build a community where you look out for one another.”  In addition to building a safe community, students in the residence halls should not fear disciplinary action when reporting alcohol poisoning or adverse reactions from drugs, “We are not looking to bust kids and get people in trouble.  We want to see the person gets the help they need for the night.”

Students with comments or concerns are encouraged to contact the SUPD or talk to the Chief.  In addition to being open to feedback, students are encouraged to report suspicious activity and potential threats by calling 617-573-8111.  For more information on crime prevention initiatives, you can view the SUPD website .

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SUPD chief talks campus safety and alert