July 26, 2023

President Dr. Peter Kilpatrick shakes hands with community members attending the town hall. (Patrick G. Ryan/Catholic University)

University President Dr. Peter K. Kilpatrick shared progress on leadership’s safety action plan and responded to community questions during a town hall on Wednesday. The forum followed recent acts of violence on and around campus.

“We will implement any and all measures that make you safe … and make you feel safe because I think both are very important,” said Dr. Kilpatrick in a crowded Heritage Hall. He pointed to a new website catholic.edu/safety where anyone can track progress being made to increase safety awareness, communication, and security measures on and near campus.

“I strive as your President to be as transparent as I can be because I believe you deserve leadership like that,” said Dr. Kilpatrick. He said the University is in the process of hiring a program director for emergency response planning to assess and improve upon current policies and procedures. In the meantime, he asked everyone to install the Rave Guardian app on their smartphones. It provides a suite of safety tools and can be used to connect directly with the Department of Public Safety.

President Kilpatrick said the University is launching the “Keep Catholic Safe” campaign to increase community awareness and involvement in campus safety. He shared with the audience crime statistics to show that the Brookland neighborhood where the University is located “is still one of the safest if not the safest neighborhood in the District,” but more can and is being done to respond to the overall uptick in crime throughout the city.

Following the town hall, Dr. Kilpatrick met with D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and the city’s new police chief to identify how security can be improved and additional ways to collaborate. Earlier this week, University leadership, security, and city law enforcement went on a safety walk to assess security on the campus perimeter. 

President Dr. Peter Kilpatrick shares leadership’s safety and security action plan (Patrick G. Ryan/Catholic University)

“We are all in this together. … We are all part of one team that wants the same thing. We want a safe and secure campus,” said Dr. Kilpatrick. Representatives from the Metropolitan Police Department, Metro Transit Police, and local government attended the town hall.

Metro Transit Police Capt. Maurice McKinney joined the conversation from the audience, sharing that the department is working to have more lighting installed around the Brookland-CUA Metro station and increasing visibility of security there. 

President Kilpatrick said his overall goal is to “bring the community together to focus on safety, to develop a grassroots community-based safety plan so we can be and feel safe.”