Public Safety Message from President Brown

By Robert A. Brown | January 30, 2013

To the Boston University Community:

With deep concern I write again to update you on an armed robbery. Most of you will, I hope, have received the alert from the Boston University Police reporting that at 8:30 last night an individual (a Boston University researcher) was attacked at Browne and Pleasant Streets in Brookline by two men. The victim was assaulted and robbed. Mercifully, the injuries sustained were not life-threatening.

As you all know at this point, there have been multiple robberies (including armed robberies) in the area west of the BU Bridge and south of Commonwealth Avenue—a section that encompasses neighborhoods across from FitRec, the College of Fine Arts, and the College of General Studies.

Last night's assault occurred roughly five blocks from our campus in a residential neighborhood at 8:30 in the evening, a time when many students and employees of the University are coming and going on the streets that crisscross the area. This attack is especially troubling because it is the first instance in which assailants have actively used a weapon rather than the threat of violence.

I met this morning with Boston University Police Chief Tom Robbins for a briefing and to discuss next steps based on what we are learning from ongoing investigations. Chief Robbins is working closely with his Brookline police counterparts who have primary enforcement authority. Because of the prior series of robberies, we had added Boston University police patrols in the neighborhoods—significantly bolstering coverage. But, clearly, recent experience suggests that we must—working with public officials—reevaluate current procedures and seek new approaches.

Please continue to follow the alerts and advisories issued by the Boston University Police. I would strongly encourage everyone to heed the guidance from our police colleagues.

We share a common concern about the safety situation in these neighborhoods. We will work diligently to help find answers.


Robert A. Brown