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The Blue & Gray Press | August 21, 2019

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Letter to the editor: University collaborates to make campus safer

To the Editor:

While nothing about crime is good, the apprehension of a criminal always provides a sense of relief. Last week, the University of Mary Washington community could breathe a collective sigh of relief. On Friday morning, a suspect was arrested for recent burglaries of Virginia, DuPont and Pollard halls. The arrest was possible only as a result of the sharp eye of a student and the speedy response of two University Police officers, Jeffrey Perry and Joe Gagliardi.

It is gratifying to see community policing efforts in action. Late last Thursday, a UMW student observed a break-in occurring in Pollard Hall and immediately called University Police. Based on the description provided, an alert was sent out to all area jurisdictions. Officer Perry and Sergeant Gagliardi spotted the suspect, who was positively identified and arrested. As it turns out, the suspect has been connected with a number of burglaries and vehicle thefts in the area. University Police officers are working closely with the Commonwealth Attorney’s office as this investigation continues.

I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank the UMW community for its patience and diligence. I cannot emphasize enough that the key to resolution of these crimes was the quick and decisive action by a student in providing information and by our officers in responding.

Anyone observing suspicious activity or unsafe conditions on campus should call University Police immediately at 540-654-1025. Alternately, dial 4444 from any university phone or go to any exterior blue light station and press the call button. Someone will answer at any hour of the day or night. Additionally, anonymous tips or information may be reported to University Police via our Silent Witness web link. Also, for the safety of students, the Police Communications Center provides after-hour safety escorts.

Eddie Perry is the UMW Chief of Police.