LSU police chief sends message to parents after rash of reported crimes around campus
BATON ROUGE - LSU is reaching out to parents amid a rash of seemingly random violence reported on and around its campus in recent days.
The reports began Sunday when an unidentified person allegedly grabbed a woman from behind near the Middleton Library. An LSU spokesperson says the attacker reportedly released the victim before fleeing the area.
The following day, police were contacted after a woman was reportedly robbed at gunpoint in a campus parking lot.
Other reports circulating on social media claim other incidents have happened just off campus over the weekend, but police have been unable to substantiate those reports.
Authorities have not identified suspects in any of those incidents at this time, and it's unclear if there is any connection between the crimes.
An LSU spokesperson says students should report any suspicious activity to campus police and use the campus transit system to avoid walking alone after dark.
LSU Police Chief Bart Thompson issued the following statement in response to the crimes:
Dear LSU Families,
Over the past 48 hours, a few incidents on campus were reported to LSU PD. I want to assure you that LSU PD is investigating each incident thoroughly. We take crime on campus very seriously.
As a father, I understand your concern, and I want you to know that police are utilizing all resources at their disposal to apprehend those responsible for these incidents. These crimes are not acceptable and they take away from the great work your students are doing on our campus each and every day. The university and LSU PD work hard to ensure your students have a safe place to get an education.
Our officers regularly patrol campus 24-7, on foot, in vehicles, and on bicycles. We perform both uniformed and plainclothes patrols, and our detectives are actively investigating these recent incidents. We also work closely with Baton Rouge Police and other law enforcement agencies to investigate and solve crimes. Meanwhile, please encourage your Tigers to remain aware of their surroundings at all times, no matter where they are. Please ask them to report any suspicious activity by calling 911 or using the LSU Shield app.
Here are a few existing safety resources for your Tigers:
Campus Transit Shuttle (5 p.m. to midnight, 7 days a week) 225-578-5555
LSU Police 225-578-3231
Students can sign up to receive emergency text messages
Download the free Shield app
At LSU, we are working around the clock to make sure your student is as safe and secure as possible.
The university also sent the following message to parents:
Parents, the safety of your children, and everyone on our campus, is of the utmost importance to us. Please ask your Tigers to contact LSU Police immediately if they see or experience anything suspicious. The sooner they report, the better the chances of the police catching the individual. So, please remind your Tigers to also download the free LSU SHIELD app for their mobile devices. The app helps students report emergencies or crimes, receive help from police, or simply check on their friends to ensure they’ve arrived safely at their destinations. It’s available for both iOS and Android operating systems. We want to assure you that we are taking this very seriously, and that the LSU Police Department is investigating this incident. Please remind your Tigers to utilize all of the university’s resources, such as Campus Transit, and to follow all basic safety practices, such as not walking alone at night.
Campus Transit will give students a free ride from door-to-door, anywhere on campus from 5:30 p.m. to midnight, seven days a week. Students can also call Campus Transit to get a ride from a parking lot to a building, so they don’t have to walk in the dark from a parking lot. Anyone wanting a ride should call 225-578-5555, provide the information requested, and a van or minibus will be dispatched. Rides can also be scheduled through the TransLoc mobile app, available in the app store. See the following link for more info on Campus Transit and the app: http://www.lsu.edu/parking/transportation/campustransit.php. This service is highly recommended; please encourage your Tigers to use Campus Transit, and to plan accordingly so they can get a ride before the service closes at midnight.
If students find themselves in a situation where they need to park/walk after Campus Transit closes, they can call LSU Police, who will send an officer to escort the students to their on-campus destinations. However, keep in mind that if the police are called away for an emergency, or are working a case, they may not always be available. So please ask your Tigers to plan ahead and use Campus Transit whenever possible. The LSU Police Department phone number is 225-578-3231.
LSU employs more than 70 trained and certified police officers who patrol campus 24 hours a day, seven days a week. But all of us should work together to utilize the services offered, make safe choices, and report suspicious activity, as safety is a shared responsibility. Parents, we ask that you remind your Tigers to always remain vigilant, especially at night. Please encourage them to use Campus Transit, the LSU Police escort, or at the very least, to travel in groups at night. We want to make sure that all of our students are safe!