Catholic U. asks for more police, meeting with DC mayor over crime concerns

In a letter sent to the university community on Wednesday, Catholic University President Peter Kilpatrick called for an increased police presence on campus and for a meeting with Mayor Muriel Bowser over recent crime concerns.

Yesterday in a statement, Catholic University asked to meet with D.C. police after the most recent shooting left a man dead near the university’s bookstore Monday night on 7th and Monroe streets NE.

It was the third shooting on or near a college campus in the D.C. region in the past month. Last week, a construction worker was killed on Howard University’s campus on the evening of July 13 during what is believed to be an armed robbery attempt.

Eight days earlier on July 5, a teacher visiting D.C. from Kentucky was shot and killed on Catholic University’s campus during what police have also described as a robbery attempt.

In the letter, Kilpatrick said the university’s public safety department is already at “full force.” Kilpatrick also said the violence “originated off campus,” and pushed for increased attention around the “perimeter” of campus, specifically on John McCormack Road.

“We know that this area is of serious concern due to the heavy use of the Metro,” Kilpatrick said.

The president said the university has called upon a security support service to provide security to the entrance of the nearby Brookland/CUA Metro station, in addition to Metro Transit Police patrol of the station, which Kilpatrick said has increased. He said more security guards will also be added daily on John McCormack Road between 6 a.m. and midnight.

Kilpatrick said Kirk McLean, the university’s associate vice president for Public Safety and Emergency Management, will ask D.C. police for the following, as noted in the email:

  • More frequent and longer patrols by MPD on John McCormack Road, which is on the south side of the campus by the Brookland/CUA Metro station.
  • An MPD representative to provide safety guidance at First-Year Orientation.
  • Additional police presence on Monroe Street during peak times throughout the school year and during the summer.
  • Information on MPD or District programs and resources available to enhance campus safety.

Even with this recent wave of crime, Kilpatrick said the amount of crime in the surrounding Brookland neighborhood this year is similar to last year — with the exception of auto theft — which he said has risen District-wide.

Kilpatrick said he has reached out to the presidents of nearby Trinity University and Howard University on addressing crime.

“I have also asked to meet with Mayor Bowser to discuss crime in the District, its impact on our community, and the safety of our campus,” Kilpatrick said.

Kilpatrick said he’ll be holding a town hall meeting on Wednesday, July 26 to discuss security on campus. Additional details are still forthcoming.

“There are no words to express how frustrated and saddened I am with the increase in violence near campus, in the District, and around the country,” Kilpatrick said. “We deeply feel the pain from the loss of life and concerns about safety.”

David Andrews

No stranger to local news, David Andrews has contributed to DCist, Greater Greater Washington and was fellow at Washingtonian Magazine. He worked as a photo/videographer for University of Maryland's Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center.

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