In light of BART violence, safety reminders from UCPD Chief Bennett

UCPD Chief Margo Bennett sent this message to the UC Berkeley campus community late Wednesday:

Dear campus community,

I’m sure you share my deep concern about the tragic incident at Oakland’s MacArthur BART station on Sunday evening. As a community, we are saddened by this senseless and random act of violence and send our condolences to those who are impacted. In addition to this most recent crime, within the past two weeks BART has experienced at least two other acts of serious violence, and we have seen recent violence in our own south campus area.

These types of events can have the effect of instilling fear and putting the community on edge. While the victims of Sunday’s terrible attack couldn’t have done anything to prevent it, I strongly encourage you to be as vigilant as possible about your own safety and to watch out for those around you.

Because many of you rely on BART and other forms of public transportation, I wanted to share these safety reminders:

  • Be aware of your friends and colleagues, and attentive to your surroundings; look out for each other.
  • Don’t use your phone, earbuds, or electronics while out.
  • Offer to travel in groups and be alert about the safety of your neighbors.
  • If you are on campus, notice (and point out to your friends and colleagues) the Emergency “Blue Light” Telephone stations located around campus. These can be used to notify UCPD that assistance is needed.
  • Use Night Safety Services (http://nightsafety.berkeley.edu/) – especially after dark, in poorly-lit areas, and when walking alone.
    • Beginning at dusk until 3 a.m., 7 days a week, you can access the BearWalk web link at http://bearwalk.berkeley.edu/ to make a request for a safe way home, and to see a live map of our night safety buses and their proximity relative to your location.
    • You can also contact BearWalk via phone at 510-642-WALK (9255).
    • Door-to-door shuttles stop on the north side of Moffitt every half hour from 3 a.m. to 5:30 a.m.

If you witness any suspicious or criminal activity, or if you need assistance:

  • For emergencies, dial 911, or via cell on campus dial UCPD at (510) 642-3333.
  • For on-campus non-emergencies, call UCPD at (510) 642-6760 (police.berkeley.edu).
  • For the City of Berkeley Police Department, call (510) 981-5900 (cityofberkeley.info/police/).
  • Also, you can anonymously report crime or suspicious circumstances through CalTIPS. You can call (510) 664-8477 or write to cal@tipnow.com.

If you are on a BART train or in a BART station and witness or are a victim of a crime:

  • Dial 911 or call (510) 464-7000
  • Use the train intercom
  • Contact a station agent

I know that events like these are traumatic to many among us. If you feel the need for support, please be aware that the campus has several resources you may wish to explore:

  • General support: Students should contact deanofstudents@berkeley.edu.
  • Mental health support: Campus counselors at University Health Services at the Tang Center are available on a drop-in basis for urgent concerns. Visit the CPS website, call Counseling and Psychological Services at (510) 642-9494, or, when the Tang Center is closed, call the after-hours counseling line (855) 817-5667. Employees are encouraged to contact the Employee Assistance Program.

Our thoughts are with the BART victim’s family and her sister, who is recovering from Sunday’s attack, as well as others who have been affected by the recent spate of violent crime on BART and in nearby campus neighborhoods.

Your well-being is our utmost concern. Please take care of yourselves and one another.

Sincerely,

Margo Bennett
Chief
UCPD