Tag Archives: john king

LTE: A Response to “BCPD Does Not Report Student’s Alleged Sexual Assault in September”

I write to express my disappointment and frustration about a recent article and editorial that was published in the last edition of The Heights on Thursday May 4, 2017.  This is in regards to a sexual assault that was initially reported in September of last year, and was believed to have been committed somewhere in the city of Boston.  Let me first say that the work done by our officers in the Detective Bureau and Patrol Operations was highly professional, supportive of the victim/survivor and demonstrated investigatory excellence and sensitivity to the victim/survivor. Additionally, I am very concerned for the victim/survivor in this case.  The misinformation and inaccuracies of the Heights article and editorial were not helpful.  

When we were first made aware of the case in September 2016, it came under the jurisdiction of the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, as it was believed the assault occurred somewhere in the city of Boston.  Six months after the initial report, in April of this year, it was transferred to the Middlesex County DA’s Office. This is when BCPD became the lead investigatory agency.

I have always been helpful to The Heights in providing information about safety and security issues on campus.  However, I am limited in what I can discuss regarding an on-going investigation. I provided The Heights with some answers to their questions for their article and referred them to the Middlesex DA’s Office for further comment. 

The editorial in The Heights included numerous inaccuracies and a lack of understanding of the reporting requirements relating to campus crime.  The Clery Act sets the requirements for notification to the community of certain criminal incidents stating that “serious and continuing” threats to the community should generate a notice.  In the past two and a half years, we have initiated 14 notices to our community regarding safety and security issues.  

The Heights’ assertion that a notification was not made for fear of bad publicity is a reckless and disparaging statement.  In fact, BCPD makes several notifications each school year and does not suppress information for public relations purposes.  The assertion that BCPD and University administration failed to “place the safety of students above BC’s public image “and are “lacking in morality as well” is demeaning and baseless.

The Heights also stated that “BCPD should have gone back and updated the crime log to reflect that the crime took place in their jurisdiction”.  In fact, the Crime Log, a requirement of The Clery Act, was updated to reflect this change. 

I am concerned about the potential impact this article and editorial has had on current and future victims/survivors who may unknowingly feel that BCPD has failed to live up to its obligations to our community and victims of crime.  Additionally, I am concerned that this has the potential of having a detrimental effect on our officers who are committed to keeping our community safe and demonstrate their compassion for our students every day.

While we can reasonably assume that riding in an UBER, a LYFT, a taxi or the MBTA may have inherent dangers, general statements to the community about these risks do not meet the “serious and continuing threat” requirements of the Clery Act.  I believe this can be a point of confusion for some in our community.  

It is regrettable that in a rush to meet a deadline, the Heights appears to have been more interested in a salacious article and editorial than in presenting factual information.

John King, Executive Director of Public Safety and Chief of BCPD 

En Route to Off-Campus Residence, Female Student Sexually Assaulted

Update Nov. 3, 2016 11:54 a.m.: 

John King, executive director of public safety, said in an email on Wednesday that although 2000 Commonwealth Ave. is farther off campus than most on-campus housing, BCPD has several security measures in place. Currently, there is a security officer in the lobby of 2000 Commonwealth Ave. 24 hours a day, seven days a week. BCPD also habitually patrols the roads surrounding the residence hall. There is a blue light phone in the rear of the building, and there are several blue lights in 2000 Commonwealth Ave.’s parking garage.

King did not specify whether there would be increased security measures following the attack. There are already blue lights on Commonwealth Ave. on the Brighton Campus side, but no blue lights are on the opposite side because the land is not BC’s property. BCPD officers are instructed to have a presence where students walk, King said, which includes the stretch of Commonwealth Ave. between 2150 Commonwealth Ave. and 2000 Commonwealth Ave.

There is not, however, a security guard installed 24 hours per day outside 2000 Commonwealth Ave.

Update Nov. 1, 2016 12:26 p.m.: The Massachusetts State Police Department confirmed that the female student was sexually assaulted. According to MSPD, she refused medical attention.

A female Boston College student was followed and sexually assaulted on Sunday at 2:30 a.m. She was returning to her off-campus residence from Mary Ann’s, a bar in Cleveland Circle.

According to an email sent to the off-campus student community by the Boston College Police Department Sunday night, the student was walking behind 2000 Commonwealth Ave. when two males approached her.

A black male introduced himself as Jimmy and is believed to be between 5-foot-8 and 6-feet tall, with a flat-top haircut. The other male, who was not directly involved in the assault, was described as white with brown hair.

The suspect grabbed and sexually assaulted the student, according to the email. The student was able to break free and flee the area.

John King, executive director of public safety, said in an email that the Massachusetts State Police and BCPD are investigating the case given the reported location of the incident.

BCPD told students to avoid walking alone at night, to take advantage of Eagle Escort, to walk in well-lit areas, to know where to get help if they were to need it, and to report suspicious behavior and activity to authorities.

Featured Image by Julia Hopkins / Heights Editor

BCPD to Increase Security on Upper Following Sighting of Suspicious Person

A report was filed Monday night regarding a suspicious person around Kostka Hall on Upper Campus. The man was supposedly attempting to look in windows from the outside of the hall, according to an email sent to residents of Upper Campus Tuesday night that informed them of the situation.

A student reported to the Resident Director, Samantha Gordon, that she saw a white phone pressed against the window to her room, Boston College Police Department according to Executive Director of Public Safety John King. Gordon then reported the incident to the Boston College Police Department. The report was filed about one hour after the incident.

BCPD responded and spoke with the student, King said. The department conducted a search of the area, but could not find the suspicious person. There is currently no description of the suspect.

A separate email was sent out to residents of Kostka Hall the morning following the incident, in which Gordon advised the residents to report any suspicious activity to BCPD. She also told Kostka residents to close and lock their windows, make sure that the exterior door to the building is locked, not let anyone that they do not know into the building, and walk with a friend at night for added security.

BCPD is also increasing patrols in the area.

“Your safety is of the utmost importance,” Gordon’s email to residents said.

Featured Image by Taylor St. Germain

Alternatives for Traversing Campus Without Hoverboards

Boston College’s Director of Public Safety John King announced early Friday that self-balancing scooters, or “hoverboards,” are now banned on campus. The ban comes after several reports around the country  of the machines’ batteries catching on fire or exploding. The boards, which are not so much hoverboards as they are Segways without handlebars, are beloved by many students at BC. Now that this mode of transportation is gone for good, how will the BC population—from that kid who keeps bumping into walls down the hall in 90 to the rolling flock of football players—get around? Here are some suggestions:

1. Rollerblading: For the student who doesn’t mind walking but wants to add some flair to his trips to class, there’s nothing cooler than donning some sick blades. Maybe ones with flames above the wheels and a racing stripe. (Or whatever you want. I don’t know your life.) The only fires that’ll come from these bad boys are the sparks that the brake emits when you inevitably shred too hard. Plus, the 90s are in now more than ever. Why not show off that you’re hip and with it while also getting somewhere quickly?

2. A Group of Trained Squirrels Pulling a Sled: Winter is coming, and if you’ve forgotten, that means a veritable ton of snow is about to hit every inch of campus. Can hoverboards even work in the snow? Try taking one on a patch of ice and see how many bones you break.* But no matter, because with a little training and Costco-sized bags of acorns, you can train a few squirrels to pull you around on a sled. You’ll look like the Ice Queen from The Chronicles of Narnia on a budget, and you’ll be able to bundle up in blankets as you’re riding to class. Is there a fire hazard? Only if the squirrels turn against you and tear up your electric blanket.

*I do not suggest doing this unless you can guarantee BC will pay your tuition in full.

3. Only Go Where the Comm. Ave. Bus Can Take You: This is the best option after 5 p.m. At Lower but need to get to Mac for second dinner? The Comm. Ave. bus can get you there. Wanna go to that other burrito place down the street from Chipotle because Chipotle is probably haunted by a diarrhea ghost? Guess what, the Comm. Ave. bus goes there, too. If your destination is on the list of stops, then you’re set. Looks like you’ll be spending more time summoning spirits at Evergreen Cemetery than you thought.

4. Eagles: After a soaring eagle opened up the Cotton Bowl this past New Year’s Eve, it’s clear that birds can do anything, and eagles add that dash of patriotism every sporting event needs. With BC’s mascot being the Eagles, not having our students—athletes and NARPs alike—shuttled around by modern raptors is an opportunity missed. Think of all the recruits that would suddenly see themselves at Chestnut Hill. You know you want them, BC Athletics. You know you need them. This isn’t about me. In fact, this is bigger than me. Do what’s right for the University.

5. Walking: A tried and true method, walking has been the easiest way to get anywhere for the past 10,000 years. Kids love it, old people love it, people on dating sites say they love it when they don’t have real hobbies. It’s safe, there’s little to no chance of spontaneous combustion, and it’s great for keeping you in shape. Bonus: grab some adult light-up sneakers (they’re real, where is your God now?) and hit the town. You’re not just walking, you’re walking with the style of a toddler who has an affinity for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Featured Image by Elaine Thompson / AP Photo