Letter to Students, Faculty, and Staff

Filed under Uncategorized on September 5, 2014.

Dear UF students, faculty and staff,

In light of the three assaults that have been reported on or near campus during the past week, I am writing to remind you of the importance of looking out for your own safety and that of others.

The University of Florida Police Department (UFPD) and the Gainesville Police Department (GPD) are investigating three incidents of women who reported being grabbed by an individual and subsequently battered. In response, UFPD and GPD have increased patrols on campus, adjacent to campus and in the Sorority Row area. In all three incidents, the suspect has been described in a similar manner. We are looking for a white male in his late 20s to 30 years old, between 6’4” and 6’5”, and 250 to 260 pounds.

We recognize that these are troubling incidents but want to assure you that both police departments are focusing their efforts toward apprehending the suspect or suspects, and we are asking for your help. If you prefer to remain anonymous, please use the UFPD Silent Witness or contact Alachua/Gilchrist County Crime Stoppers at 352-372-7867. Remember, safety is a shared responsibility so we also ask that you follow the University of Florida Police Department Safety Tips. Those include:

  • Report suspicious activities or individuals immediately by calling 9-1-1.
  • Always be alert and aware of your surroundings. This is particularly true if you are wearing headphones and may not be able to hear someone near or behind you.
  • If someone bothers you, don’t be embarrassed to attract attention to yourself. Yell!
  • Avoid walking alone. On campus, use the Student Nighttime Auxiliary Patrol (SNAP), a safe campus escort service available between 6:30 p.m. and 3 a.m. by calling 352-392-7627 (SNAP) or downloading the SNAP safety application and requesting an escort.
  • Stay in well-lighted areas, away from alleys, bushes and entryways.

Other available resources include U Matter We Care umatter@ufl.edu; UFPD Victim Advocates (352-392-5648); and the Counseling and Wellness Center (352-392-1575).

As always, please call 9-1-1 during an emergency or use one of more than 300 Blue Light Safety phones located throughout campus. We also encourage everyone to download the “Tap Shield” safety application that also can be used to contact police. Finally, please follow us for updated information through the UFPD home page, the UF Alert home page, or the UF Public Safety Twitter Page.

Chief Linda J. Stump
University of Florida Police Dept.
51 Museum Road
P.O. Box 112150
Gainesville, FL 32611-2150