NICK AUERBACH ’14
President James F. Jones sent an email last Friday, April 6, addressed to Trinity College students, faculty, and staff discussing a Campus Safety update. The letter included a summary of changes made by the school to ensure improved campus safety measures.
In response to recent student safety incidents (most notably the Chris Kenny attack), Trinity has increased the number of Campus Safety officers on and around campus during the nighttime hours, with additional Campus Safety officers on patrol and a greater presence in the immediate neighborhood by the Hartford Police Department. Following spring break there have been another ten contract officers on foot, patrolling the perimeter and interior of campus during the nighttime hours, meaning that there are now an average of 18 officers on campus from dusk until dawn.
Jones also announced that the school has completed their search for an interim director of campus safety, hiring James A. Perrotti. Perrotti served as the chief of police for Yale University in New Haven for 12 years, and prior to that he served in a range of safety positions at Yale over three decades.
Most recently Perrotti, while working for Margolis Healy & Associates, has focused on helping colleges such as Trinity in assessing their campus safety operations, including reviewing protocols, systems, communication, strategies, training, and person power. Perrotti will begin working as interim director of campus safety Monday, April 9.
The firm of Margolis Healy & Associates specializes in safety and security for colleges and universities, and Perrotti will be supported by the full resources of Margolis Healy. Perrotti is expected to fill the position at Trinity until a permanent head of Campus Safety has been selected, which Jones anticipates having in place sometime next fall.
Out of eight proposals from national firms specializing in evaluating the safety infrastructures and programs on college campuses, Trinity has selected Margolis Healy & Associates. Jones says Margolis Healy & Associates made the most sense “not simply to benefit from the synergies of the selection of Jim Perrotti, but also because of the firm’s impressive record and references from similar assessments of other institutions of higher education.” Jones also suggested it is likely Margolis will use an approach called Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED), which is designed to use a variety of strategies, including landscaping, lighting, fencing, and other devices to help manage campus access.
Margolis will develop a suggested plan over the summer while it assesses campus lighting, security cameras, frequency and styles of patrols, and the full range of campus safety techniques that characterize campus communities that are safe and secure.
Jones reiterated that “the safety of the Trinity community—students, faculty, and staff—is an intense priority” and the College is “also committed to working with the Hartford Police and our neighbors in this community to support safety initiatives in our broader neighborhood.” The immediate increased presence of campus safety officers and confirmed plans for the future are steps in the right direction as Trinity tries to make its students feel safer on campus.