Chief of Police Chatman gives update on recent safety concerns

Rose Rucoba
Staff Writer

Recently, two UD students came into contact with a man on campus, on two separate occasions, who was armed with a knife

Public Safety sent an email on Mar. 31, alerting students that “a female student reported a male grabbed her and showed a knife between the Chapel and Kennedy Union at approximately 1:00 AM 3/31/2016. She escaped uninjured.” The suspect was described as a “black male, approximately 20 years of age, 6’00” tall, slender build, short or no hair, wearing a dark blue hoodie.”

On Apr. 3, students received another email, detailing that “a male student reported that on April 3, 2016, at approximately 2:30 A.M. he was walking from one of the businesses [on Brown Street] when he was approached by a male bearing a knife. The suspect told the student to give him what he had in his pockets. The male student fled the area.” The suspect was reported to be “a black male, early 20s, six feet tall, thin build, possibly wearing a hooded sweatshirt and jeans.”

In an interview with Flyer News, executive director of Public Safety and chief of police, Captain Rodney Chatman provided an update on the investigation of these two separate incidents.

He said that both incidents were reported to Public Safety, one by a blue light emergency telephone and the other by a phone call.

While both incident reports describe a male of the same height and build, and both men carried a knife, Chatman said it could not be confirmed whether or not it was the same man in both incidents.

He also said that, while he is new to his job at UD, he is not aware of any similar incidents like these that have occurred in the past.

In terms of investigating these two reports, he said it is difficult to tell how long it will take or how well it is going, but was reassuring in that the investigation is ongoing.

“We’re not stopping,” Chatman stated.

He explained that students might see an increase in Public Safety officers on campus, particularly at night, to ensure safety as a result of these recent occurrences.

The one message Chatman wants to get across to UD students, following these incidents, is to take advantage of the blue light telephones beyond emergency situations.

“I hope that the student body uses the telephones and views them not only as in an emergency but any time they need to reach Public Safety,” Chatman said.

In other words, he doesn’t want students to be too shy to only use the blue light telephones to talk to Public Safety only when there is a stranger on campus at night, but to use them if there is ever a non-emergency problem and need to contact authorities.

“My number one focus is on the students,” Chatman said.