The Catholic University of America

 

Campus Safety

Safety First, Safety Always

 

Safety First News Updates

Feb. 6, 2016
Information Alert: Off-Campus Robbery

The Department of Public Safety received information from the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) of a robbery that occurred in the 100 block of Michigan Avenue, N.E.  On Feb. 4, 2016, at approximately 6:30 p.m., the victim reported that while walking, a group of six females surrounded her and one of the females in the group struck her in the face and took her cell phone (iPhone). The victim sustained cuts and bruises from the assault.  The victim is not a member of the CUA community. MPD is investigating.    

Description of Suspects: Suspect #1: Black female; 5’6-5’8”; medium complexion; wearing black boots; brown pants; Suspect #2 – 4:  Black females wearing black coats; brown pants and black boots; Suspect #5 – 6:  Hispanic females wearing black coats; brown pants; black boots.  Last seen walking westbound on Michigan Avenue, towards Franklin Avenue, N.E.   No further information was provided.  

 

Jan. 25, 2016
Catholic University Closed Tuesday, Jan. 26

Dear Campus Community,

Due to the ongoing recovery efforts following the weekend snowstorm, The Catholic University of America will remain closed on Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016. The last day of the drop-add period for regular session spring semester classes will be extended to 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 27.

Posted by the Office of Public Affairs at 6:33 p.m.

 

Jan. 21, 2016
Catholic University to Close at Noon Friday, Jan. 22

Dear Campus Community,

In light of the weather forecast for the Washington, D.C., area, The Catholic University of America will open at the regular time Friday, Jan. 22, but we will close at noon. Please continue to check the University home page (www.cua.edu), Facebook, and Twitter for updates.

Following is important information related to the early closing tomorrow.
 

  •     Classes starting at 11:10 a.m. will meet as usual, but they will end at noon.  
  •     Because Friday is the last day of the drop-add period for spring semester classes, drop-add will be extended to 5 p.m. Monday, Jan. 25. 
  •     Resident decal parking holders should move their cars to the lower level of the Columbus School of Law parking garage on Friday starting at 9 a.m. so the Office of Facilities Operations can be ready to start clearing snow from surface lots. This also applies to all vehicles parked in snow emergency routes including the McMahon Hall lot.    
  •     The John K. Mullen of Denver Memorial Library will close at noon Friday. It will be closed Saturday. Please check the libraries website (www.libraries.cua.edu) for updates about hours of operation on Sunday.    
  •     Dining Services will cease operations at 10 p.m. Friday. They will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.    
  •     The Department of Public Safety will remain open.    
  •     The early closing will not impact plans for the March for Life, which is scheduled for Friday.    
  •     The shuttle service will run until only noon tomorrow morning. There will be no shuttle service Friday or Saturday.    
  •     All classes scheduled to meet Saturday are cancelled.    
  •     The schedule remains the same for Masses on campus Sunday, Jan. 24.

Posted by the Office of Public Affairs at 2:38 p.m.
 

Dec. 11, 2015
A Message from President Garvey

Dear Campus Community,

At the close of this difficult week, I want to thank our students, faculty, and staff for their patience and support of each other and the officers of the Department of Public Safety (DPS) and the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) for their vigilance and professionalism.

To properly assess the events of this past week, I have appointed the University’s general counsel, Lawrence Morris, a former colonel in the U.S. Army and chief prosecutor at Guantanamo Bay, to conduct an analysis of our response to the incidents that occurred this week. As part of this review, Mr. Morris will meet with all key members of the University’s emergency response team so we can continue to refine and improve our emergency procedures. This process will begin immediately and I look forward to working with him and the members of our Emergency Council to continue to ensure the safety of our campus community as our highest priority.

Increased DPS and MPD patrols are continuing. We have a good system in place that worked well this week to keep the Catholic University community safe. As you wrap up your activities today and head into the weekend, please remember that we will remain vigilant in our safety efforts.

This has been a challenging time for our campus and I encourage all of you to continue to come together as a community in support of one another. I wish you all the best with your end-of-the-semester activities and a blessed and peaceful Christmas.

God bless you all,

John Garvey
President

Posted by the Office of Public Affairs at 1 p.m.

12/09/2015
A Message from the Emergency Council

Dear Campus Community,

As we begin to move forward as a community after the events of the last two days, we want to reassure you that every step is being taken to make the campus as safe as possible. The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) continues to support the Department of Public Safety (DPS), both in patrolling campus and in pursuing the investigation of the initial shelter-in-place event on Monday, Dec. 7.

As has already been widely reported, on the night of Dec. 7, DPS and MPD were actively involved in the search for an armed suspect based on a report that he had confronted a custodial employee with a gun. MPD units arrived on the scene in approximately five minutes. Once the determination was made that there was a credible threat to campus, DPS issued a directive that the campus shelter in place. In consultation with MPD, which assured DPS that the campus was safe, the shelter in place directive was lifted at approximately 2:50 a.m.

No suspect has been identified. Because the suspect made claims that sounded to our custodian like terroristic threats, MPD and the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force are conducting an investigation of the incident.

Another shelter-in-place directive was issued at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 8, when an MPD officer patrolling as part of increased security on campus saw a young man whose description matched that of the suspect seen on campus on Dec. 7. Ultimately, the individual was detained, his car was searched, and he was thoroughly interrogated; it was determined that he is a member of the CUA community and had every right to be on campus. MPD and DPS then lifted the shelter in place order.

As is usually the case in emergency situations, information comes in quickly and sometimes piecemeal. As of late last evening, we had no information that Mullen Library had been evacuated. We have since learned that MPD instructed campus officers to evacuate the library because they believed that the person of interest might have been inside.

Senior staff in Student Affairs have been in contact with members of the Student Government Association and other student leaders and will continue that dialogue at frequent intervals in the coming days as a way to address student concerns about the two safety events on campus. The Emergency Council determined that a delay to the start of classes until 11 a.m. today would help our students begin to regroup and to start processing two difficult days for our community. In addition, based on the guidance received from MPD and our own safety professionals, we believed that a return to a sense of normalcy was an important and appropriate step for our community. 

Campus Ministry, the Counseling Center, and the Dean of Students are all available to provide support to students. Residential students can also seek support from their community director, resident assistants, student ministers and priests and religious in residence. Students wishing to use the Counseling Center’s services can do so on a walk-in basis today until 6:30 p.m. Students who wish to schedule an appointment for later this week with one of these three resources can call the following numbers: Counseling Center, 127 O’Boyle Hall, 202-319-5765; Campus Ministry, Caldwell Hall Ground Floor, 202-319-5575, and Dean of Students, 353 Pryzbyla Center, 202-319-5619.

Faculty and staff are reminded that they can call the CUA Employee Assistance Program through Carebridge for support 24 hours a day at 1-800-437-0911.

We continue to advise faculty, staff, and students that if they see something unusual they should report it immediately to Public Safety at 202-319-5111 and or MPD at 911.

We will communicate with you again as new information becomes available.

The Catholic University of America Emergency Council

John Garvey, President

Andrew V. Abela, Provost

Rob Specter, Interim Vice President for Finance and Treasurer

Frank G. Persico, Vice President for University Relations and Chief of Staff

Michael S. Allen, Vice President for Student Affairs

Christopher P. Lydon, Vice President for Enrollment Management & Marketing

Scott P. Rembold, Vice President for University Advancement

Katie Lee, Director of Communications

Jerry Conrad, Associate Vice President for Facilities Operations

Lawrence J. Morris, General Counsel

Thomasine Johnson, Associate Vice President for Public Safety and Emergency Management

Jonathan Sawyer, Associate Vice President and Dean of Students

Louis P. Alar, Director of Environmental Health and Safety

Rev. Jude DeAngelo, University Chaplain and Director of Campus Ministry

Monroe Rayburn, Director of Counseling

Matthew McNally, Chief Information Officer

Julie Isha, Associate Vice President for Enrollment Services and University Registrar

Cheryl P. Pendergast, Associate Director of Public Safety

Timothy J. Carney, Executive Director for Housing, Pryzbyla Center and Recreational Sports

Debbie Jackson, Senior Director for Strategic Sourcing and Procurement


Posted by the Office of Public Affairs at 4:44 p.m.

12/09/15
A Message from President Garvey

Dear Campus Community,

I know that the ‘shelter in place’ order we issued this evening caused a good deal of concern among our students, staff, and faculty. I speak as someone who, like you, lives on campus and is concerned about my own and my family’s safety.

The order sent out at 8 p.m. was issued when the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) saw a young man who resembled a person suspected of making threats last evening. Further investigation and conversation with the young man made it clear that he was, in fact, someone who had every right to be on campus. MPD and our Department of Public Safety have both concluded that there is no further need for a ‘shelter in place’ order, and that students may freely go about their business.

MPD and Public Safety also see no reason for concern about resuming a normal class schedule tomorrow. I have spoken with the Provost, the Vice President for Student Life, and our Emergency Council, and we agree.  We feel, though, that the events of this evening have been sufficiently upsetting to the schedules of our students that we ought to have a three-hour delay in beginning classes tomorrow. Accordingly, classes will start at 11 a.m. However the Law School, as well as all University faculty and staff, will follow their regular schedule.

We have to acknowledge that we live in an uncertain world. Given the nature of today’s society, we all need to be vigilant and mindful of our surroundings. But I urge you to go about your usual affairs tomorrow – whether it’s teaching or writing papers or studying for exams – knowing that your safety is our highest priority and that we have taken the utmost precautions to ensure it.

Tomorrow the Counseling Center staff will be available to provide support to CUA students on a walk-in basis. The Office of Human Resources will provide assistance services for our employees.

I hope, as we all do, that safety emergencies don’t become a regular feature of life in our nation’s capital.  But please remember that we have a good system in place, and that today’s events were the result of that system working.  Should it be necessary to do so again, we will activate our CUA Emergency Notification Plan with its multiple redundancies. For more information about the plan, visit http://publicsafety.cua.edu/emergency/index.cfm.

God bless you all.

John Garvey
President

Posted by the Office of Public Affairs at 12:07 a.m.

 

12/08/15
Shelter in Place LIFTED

President Garvey has convened his Emergency Council and they are in constant contact with the Metropolitan Police Department in regard to tonight’s campus safety event.  

Other facts that we know right now:

  • A person of interest identified tonight is not the same person from last night. 
  • Reports of bomb threats in the Library and O’Connell Hall are unfounded and there have been no evacuations.
  • The Shelter in Place is no longer in place.
  • We will provide another update later this evening.
  • Department of Public Safety

Posted by the Office of Public Affairs at 10:04 p.m.

 

12/08/15
SHELTER IN PLACE

The Metropolitan Police Department and the CUA Department of Public Safety are on campus in response to a possible armed suspect. CUA community members are directed to Shelter in Place until notified. Call 911 or 202-319-5111.

Posted by the Office of Public Affairs at 8:23 p.m.

 

12/08/15
A Message from President Garvey

Dear Campus Community,

Last night at approximately 10:30 p.m. the Department of Public Safety (DPS) and the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) were actively involved with searching for an armed suspect who confronted a custodial employee. DPS notified MPD and broadcast a radio description of the suspect. MPD units arrived on the scene in approximately five minutes.  A male suspect was stopped on campus and the witness was transported to view the suspect. The witness stated the suspect was not the individual who displayed a weapon and threatened him.

Based on the witness’s preliminary statements, the following activities were put into motion: DPS viewed its closed circuit TV footage in an attempt to isolate a photograph of the suspect and to determine his direction of flight; officers responded to residence halls to reassure students and staff; and MPD continued to interview the witness for details to determine if enough evidence existed to classify this as a credible threat. Once the determination was made that the threat was credible, the Department of Public Safety notified the Office of Public Affairs to issue a directive to the campus community to “Shelter in Place.” This announcement was sent at approximately 1:15 a.m. The DPS backup Communications Center at the Law School was activated and, as an added precaution, members of the MPD Explosive Ordinance Unit (EOD) searched both Pangborn and Leahy Halls, which, at the time, were considered buildings of interest.

In consultation with the MPD, the “Shelter in Place” was lifted at approximately 2:50 a.m.

As of now, no suspect has been detained. Because the suspect made claims that sounded to our custodian like terroristic threats, MPD and the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force are conducting an investigation of the incident. We have increased our vigilance to provide a safe environment. Our DPS officers are patrolling the campus in a heightened state of alert with support from members of MPD's Emergency Response Team. Faculty, staff, and students are advised that if they see anything unusual they should report it immediately to Public Safety at 202-319-5111, or to MPD at 911.  We will provide another update as more information becomes available.

We have also begun an assessment of our tactical and communications efforts during this event to address any aspects of our response that require improvement.

All members of our campus community must know that we make the safety of our students, faculty, and staff our most important priority. I am grateful for the diligence of our public safety officers and the support we received from the Metropolitan Police Department.

John Garvey
President

This message was distributed to the Catholic University community by email at 7:08 p.m. on Dec. 8.

 

12/08/15
Crime Alert: Off-Campus Shooting

The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) reported there was a shooting in the area of the 300 block of Hawaii Avenue, N.E. at approximately 1:50 am, this morning.  No member of the CUA community was involved.  No additional information was provided.

This incident is not related to the Shelter in Place event that occurred on campus.

Description of Suspect:

(1)    Black male dressed in all black, wearing a mask.  No further description provided.

Posted by the Office of Public Affairs at 10:50 a.m,.
 

12/08/15
UPDATE: Shelter in Place

This is an update on the Shelter-in-Place alert from earlier this morning.

Please be advised that the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) and the Department of Public Safety (DPS) have determined that the campus is safe. However, as an extra measure of precaution, MPD and DPS have enhanced the police presence on and around the University. The investigation of the incident concerning an individual showing a gun to a CUA custodial worker on campus last evening is ongoing. Faculty, staff, and students are advised that if they see something unusual that they should report it immediately to Public Safety at 202-319-5111202-319-5111 and or MPD at 911. More information will be forthcoming.

The campus community will also receive a crime alert this morning concerning an incident in the 300 block of Hawaii Avenue, NE. MPD has assured us that this incident is not related to the above.

Thomasine Johnson
Associate Vice President for Public Safety and Emergency Management

Posted by the Office of Public Affairs at 10:35 a.m.

12/08/15
UPDATE: Shelter in Place

On Dec. 7, 2015, at 10:31 p.m. the Department of Public Safety (DPS) was notified that a custodial worker in Pangborn Hall was approached by a suspect with a weapon. DPS units responded to the scene and interviewed the worker who described the suspect as a Middle Eastern male, approximately 19-20 years of age, slim build, 6' – 6'3', wearing a black sport coat. The suspect demanded to know the location of the administration building. The custodial worker directed him to Leahy Hall.

DPS notified the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), which responded to campus within several minutes. Leahy and Pangborn halls were evacuated. As part of its investigation, MPD called the Explosive Ordinance Unit (EOD), which searched Leahy and Pangborn halls.

No explosive devices were found on campus. The shelter in place order was lifted. MPD will be responsible for the follow-up investigation and will coordinate with DPS.

Thomasine N Johnson
Associate Vice President for Public Safety and Emergency Management
The Catholic University of America Shelter in Place

Posted by the Office of Public Affairs at 4:35 a.m.
 

12/08/15
SHELTER IN PLACE RESCINDED

The Metropolitan Police Department and the CUA Department of Public Safety have concluded the search and deemed the campus safe. CUA community members may resume normal activities.

Thomasine N Johnson
Associate Vice President for Public Safety and Emergency Management
The Catholic University of America
620 Michigan Avenue NE
Washington, DC 20064

Posted by the Office of Public Affairs at 2:50 a.m.
 

12/08/15
SHELTER IN PLACE

The Metropolitan Police Department and the CUA Department of Public Safety are on campus in response to a possible armed suspect. CUA community members are directed to Shelter in Place until notified. The suspect is described as a tall middle eastern male, slim, well dressed, wearing a suit jacket possibly armed.  If the suspect is observed, do not approach. Call 911 or 319 5111.

Thomasine N Johnson
Associate Vice President for Public Safety and Emergency Management
The Catholic University of America
620 Michigan Avenue NE
Washington, DC 20064

Posted by the Office of Public Affairs at 1:44 a.m.


11/20/15
CUA Emergency Preparedness Update

The University’s Department of Public Safety (DPS) and Office of Student Affairs are aware of non-specific and unsubstantiated threats to Washington, D.C. To be clear, according to the Metropolitan Police Department, there are no credible threats to the campus or surrounding area. DPS remains vigilant in our patrols. In the same manner, we encourage students, faculty, and staff to report any suspicious activities to DPS at 202-319-5111202-319-5111.

We want to reassure you that DPS has established communication channels with our local and federal law enforcement partners who would alert DPS in the event that there was a credible threat to the campus or Washington, D.C., area. DPS routinely trains for emergency situations. In the event of an emergency, the University's emergency management plan utilizes multiple redundant systems for notification. They include:

  • All-Campus Alert, an audible public address alert system
  • CUAlert, a service of Rave Mobile Safety, that provides members of the campus community with the ability to receive urgent text message, email, and voice mail notifications to their cell phones and other wireless devices.
  • University email listservs
  • University telephone voice mail messages
  • Building watch captains, resident assistants, and area coordinators
  • CUA websites, including www.cua.edu, home.cua.edu and Safety First Web page (http://www.cua.edu/safety/)
  • Social media updates
  • Fire alarms
  • Audible public announcements broadcast via public safety vehicles
  • Verbal announcements via public safety foot patrol officers
  • Messages on plasma screens in the Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center and on all CUA cable TV stations through programming interruption feature

Please refer to http://www.publicsafety.cua.edu for more information on how we respond to emergencies. If you have any questions about emergency preparedness at CUA, please contact DPS at 202-319-5111202-319-5111.

Posted by the Office of Public Affairs at 8:55 a.m.
 

10/4/15
University to Open as Usual Monday, Oct. 5

Based upon the current trajectory of Hurricane Joaquin, the University will open and operate as usual Monday, Oct. 5.

Posted by the Office of Public Affairs at 11:15 a.m.

 

10/1/15
University Monitors Hurricane Joaquin

As you know from media reports, Hurricane Joaquin is approaching the Washington, D.C., area. University officials are monitoring the storm closely. Depending on the severity of the hurricane, University operations may be affected. As the storm reaches the Washington, D.C., area the CUA website, www.cua.edu, is the official source for the most up-to-date information regarding University opening and/or closing.

The Office of Public Affairs will provide periodic updates over the weekend on the home page, the Safety First page, and via email and social media. The updates will advise students, faculty, staff, and visitors of the actions they should take depending on the severity of the weather conditions. More information about Hurricane Joaquin is available on the National Hurricane Center – National Weather Service’s website, www.nhc.noaa.gov.

Posted by the Office of Public Affairs at 5:15 p.m.

 

8/29/15
Crime Alert – Robbery

The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) notified the Department of Public Safety of a robbery of an establishment that occurred in the 300 block of Hawaii Avenue, N.E. On Saturday, August 29, 2015, at approximately 2:28 a.m., a suspect entered the 7-11 Store, armed with a kitchen knife and demanded money. The suspects obtained cash from the employee and fled. There were no reported injuries. There were no members of the CUA community in the establishment at the time of the robbery.

Description of Suspect
The suspect was described as a black male; 5’9” – 5’10”; 150-170 lbs.; dark complexion; bald; wearing a white shirt, armed with a kitchen knife. No further information provided.

If you have information relating to this incident, or witness suspicious activity, please call the Department of Public Safety on 202-319-5111202-319-5111.

Safety Tips:

  • Sliding glass doors offer easy access if they are not properly secured.
  • Lock all exterior doors and windows.
  • Limit the amount of traffic in and out of your homes. Suspects look for active locations that could be easily identified as a student-occupied residence.

General Tips:

  • Report any suspicious individuals to the Department of Public Safety.
  • Program CUA Public Safety into your cell phone for emergencies: 202-319-5111202-319-5111.

Posted by the Office of Public Affairs at 2:20 p.m.