Letters to the UMB Community

Safety on Our UMB Campus

To the UMB Community:

Yesterday, you received a letter from UMB Police Chief Alice Cary regarding the capture of a suspect in three armed robberies this week. I'm deeply grateful to the officers involved in the swift arrest; they almost certainly prevented future attacks. 

I know incidents like these can have a chilling effect on the morale of our students, faculty, and staff. They can make us feel unsafe. They can influence how well we work and learn. 

Your safety is always my No. 1 priority, and I've been in close communication with Chief Cary and her leadership team, and with Chief Business and Finance Officer Dawn Rhodes, who has oversight of the UMB Police Department. We've discussed the recent uptick in crime and how we can better protect our people. 

As Chief Cary wrote yesterday, we're increasing our police presence. Additional officers will be patrolling areas where we've seen a rise in crime, and overtime patrols will provide more coverage campuswide. We're now working on a plan to hire more security officers and to raise their visibility on campus and in the community. We'll soon have more information to share regarding the plan and its implementation.

In her letter yesterday, Chief Cary urged you to use our Safe Walk/Safe Ride program (410-706-6882). She's told me many times that the program is underused, that her officers want to provide this service to UMB's people but are seldom asked to. And I do understand why: It might seem unnecessary. It might cost you a few minutes' time, when we all have so few to spare. But I imagine most of us would rather be inconvenienced than unsafe. I ask you again to use this service and make safety your priority.

This is a difficult letter to write. We work, learn, and serve in a community that has its share of challenges, and with those challenges come dangers. But I don't accept it when our colleagues and classmates are threatened. No one should experience the trauma of victimization, and we undertake our work always with the goal that no one will. Chief Cary and I will have more to share with you soon.


Jay A. Perman, MD

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