In response to last week’s assault outside Cobb Hall, the University of Chicago Police Department (UCPD) is posting an officer on the main quad 20 hours a day according to UCPD Chief Marlon Lynch.
Suspects were detained in connection with the incident, in which three men grabbed a student by the neck, took his iPod and wallet, and ran away, Lynch said, but he did not indicate if charges had been pressed, saying the investigation is still pending.
“We have a few people in mind,” he said, adding that they were apprehended based on descriptions given by the victim and witness statements.
To prevent similar assaults on the quad, Lynch has posted an officer on the main quad from 7 a.m. to 3 a.m. “Usually we place officers where the incidents occur,” Lynch said.
He didn’t indicate how long the officer would be posted. “We’ll see how it goes. If there’s a need for us to continually have an officer there, then we’ll go wherever the need is,” Lynch said.
While UCPD has been installing sophisticated, multi-directional cameras on and around campus as a means of preventing and tracking crime, there are no cameras yet installed in the area in front of Cobb Hall.
“We only have a couple up on the main quad at this point,” Lynch said. “That installation is in a phased approach. We’ll be adding cameras throughout the year….The installation on the main quad will continue and hopefully just as quick as we can get the equipment in and get it installed.”
Lynch stressed that last Monday’s assault was unusual. “Violent crimes usually do not take place on the main quad, but by placing an officer there to increase police presence [and with the addition of cameras] we would hope to be able to have more tools in place to prevent future incidents like that from occurring—and also to help with investigation.”