There are still no arrests in the assault of a Trinity student 10 days ago. The college, responding to student concerns about neighborhood crime, plans significant changes to the Frog Hollow campus.
But is crime really growing around Trinity?
Here are some interesting numbers from the Hartford Police Department for the Trinity neighborhood. These are for so-call “Part I crimes,” which are more serious.
CRIME 2009 2010 2011 2012
Larceny 66 42 29 2
Burglary 9 11 7 2
MV theft 9 9 5 1
Robbery 6 6 2 –
Sexual Assault 3 – – –
Aggravated Assault 2 1 2 1
TOTAL 95 69 45 5
Meanwhile, drug and alcohol problems on campus appear to be growing, or perhaps the school is cracking down. This is from the 2011 campus safety report:
In an email to parents and students today, Trinity College Board of Trustees Chair Paul E. Raether said the school would respond to ”grave” concerns about safety for students at the school, located in Hartford’s impoverished Frog Hollow neighborhood. A week ago Chris Kenny, a student, was assaulted in a 2 a.m. attack by five unidentified people near the corner of Summit Street and Allen Place. Kenny has been released from the hospital.
Raether, in the memo, states:
We recognize, particularly as a result of the recent attack on one of our students, that Trinity is confronted by a serious set of campus safety challenges …Our purpose is clear: we intend for the Trinity campus to be safer than it has ever been.
The school will triple manpower on nighttime security, Hartford police will step up patrols “substantially” and the school will move “expeditiously to implement” significant changes to the campus recommended by a national safety consulting firm. The school and the family of Chris Kenny are offering a $10,000 reward “for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for this assault.”
Raether’s memo makes no mention of efforts to reach out to neighborhood groups or local leaders.
Click below to read the full memo sent today.
Trinity College sophomore Ariel Schuster asks a troubling question in an essay published today examining her school’s response to the violent 2 a.m. attack of a student a week ago:
If the campus is closed, what else might Trinity be walling out?
While students and the administration held a rally last week that encouraged louder calls for more security at Trinity, there are more questions about the assault itself, fueled, perhaps, by the Hartford Police Department’s unusual decision to issue a press release emphasizing that the five suspects in the case were all white. Many students, meanwhile, are pressing the Trinity administration to address what they feel is dangerous problem of security at the Frog Hollow campus. This is from a student blog, (as is the picture above) commenting on a speaker at the rally last week:
… contrary to previous discussions, the issue of student on student crime is completely irrelevant in a case like Chris Kenny’s, even though many people have tried to link the two problems together in the past. He also squashed the race and ethnicity tensions that have been perilously teetering on the outskirts of this conversation by asserting that the student body is solely concerned with their personal safety, not their attacker’s race.
The police investigation is continuing and there have been no arrests.
Hartford Police issued an interesting ”update” today – repeating information released earlier this week — in connection with the Trinity College assault last weekend:
According to information gathered by MCD Detectives the suspects are described as three White females and two White males in their 20′s. They were last seen fleeing in a Black, possible new, two door coupe traveling south on Summit Street.
As the location of the incident – an area with several campus and residential housing units – increases the likelihood that someone witnessed the assault, detectives are asking anyone who may have witnessed the incident or have knowledge about the incident to contact MCD Sergeant Brandon O’Brien at 860-757-4089. Confidential, anonymous tips may be made both on-line and by phone at Hartford Crime Stoppers, 860-722-TIPS (8477).
“We have an incredible challenge to address the issues of crime. It’s a constant tension between the resources that we have and the conditions in the community that lead to violence.”
Jimmy Jones, in a stern letter to the Trinity College community this afternoon, says the school and the city must move quickly to improve campus safety in the aftermath of a brutal attack on a student early Sunday morning:
I have heard from many students, parents, and alumni, and I share their outrage and concern about this malicious attack. There have been multiple and very forthright discussions with Hartford’s mayor, Pedro Segarra, and Hartford’s chief of police, James Rovella, urging them to increase police patrol frequency and vigilance around the Trinity campus. They have assured us of heightened surveillance by Hartford police, in addition to their vigorous pursuit of the perpetrators of this assault. Indeed the student’s family is considering a reward for the apprehension of those who inflicted this assault, and Trinity has offered to partner in that financial award.
… I want to assure you in no uncertain terms that the safety and security of our community and its members are a critical priority. In the past few years, we have made considerable efforts to increase Campus Safety staff, install new and improved campus lighting, and expand monitoring cameras. I am determined to aggressively continue and increase such safety installations. However, even more substantial action must be taken immediately, commensurate with the seriousness of concerns about Trinity’s safety environment. I will report further on the progress of these initiatives on several occasions in the next weeks and months of this semester.
Click below to read the email from President Jones. Continue reading