NEWS

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April 25, 2006

Cook County sherrifs seek former Shoreland resident

Two Cook County sheriffs entered Shoreland Hall on the morning of Friday, April 14, seeking a former resident.

The officers knocked on the door of Compton House resident Deanna Day. The student, a fourth-year in the College, said that the two officers began to yell at her when she answered the door.

“They were very loud and very intimidating,” Day said. “They just started yelling, ‘Where is he, where is he, we know that he’s here.’”

Day refused to disclose the person’s name.

“They insisted that he lived in my room and they needed to find him,” she said.

According to the Office of Undergraduate Student Housing, the person in question does not currently live in the Shoreland and is not a registered student. After questioning Day for 10 minutes, the officers reportedly left the building.

Day said that shortly after the incident, building manager Mark Sullivan, who had accompanied the officers upstairs, called her to explain what had happened.

“He said they were going to come upstairs anyway, so he thought it was better if he was with them,” Day said.

Sullivan reported that the officers had threatened to put him into custody if they were denied access to the building, Day said. Sullivan, who deferred questions to Katie Callow-Wright, director of Undergraduate Student Housing, was unable to confirm or deny Day’s account.

Callow-Wright said the incident was “mundane, but unusual.”

“We have an understanding with [University police] that whenever possible they will involve the resident staff,” she said. “We don’t have that understanding with other law enforcement agencies who we don’t deal with very much. Typically, we direct them to the UCPD to coordinate with them, and most of the time they are willing to do that. In this case that didn’t happen—they were in a hurry.”

The Cook County Sheriff’s Office is the second largest of its kind in the country. Sheriffs’ duties include serving warrants, running pre-trial holding facilities, and providing courtroom security. Though the officers did not address why they were seeking the person, it is possible that they were serving a warrant for his arrest.

Regardless of their reasoning, the sheriffs’ visit disturbed Day, who expressed concerns over her personal sense of safety.

“You don’t expect someone who doesn’t live in the building to be able to come to your door and start harassing you,” said Day. “You assume the security’s in place.”