INFORMATIONAL MESSAGE FROM ALERT CAROLINA: Safety Update from Chancellor Folt, Vice Chancellor Crisp and Chief McCracken

Dear Carolina Community:

By now, most of you have read about the attempted kidnapping near our campus this past weekend. Luckily, because of quick action on the part of the victim and her friends and follow-up by the police, an arrest has been made. This incident was deeply alarming and unsettling to all of us. Your safety is our top priority. We are writing today to let you know about initiatives to make our campus and town as safe as possible, and to provide you with information for seeking assistance and resources.

We collaborate closely with the Chapel Hill Police Department (CHPD) and the Town of Chapel Hill on all safety issues. In fact, we are currently working diligently with them to implement additional safety initiatives, including:

  • Joint Chapel Hill Police Department/UNC Public Safety Foot Patrols

We are permanently increasing patrols to enhance officer presence and visibility and to monitor activity and safety in the downtown business district Thursday through Saturday nights aligned with peak student social activity.

  • Nighttime Travel Safety Working Group

In the fall, we initiated a working group of University, community and student leaders led by Derek Kemp, associate vice chancellor for campus safety and risk management, to review nighttime travel safety on and near campus, including areas of high student density. The working group is also conducting a comprehensive evaluation of the adequacy of existing campus and community lighting, nighttime transportation options, smartphone applications, and enhanced awareness, training and communication. We will receive the group’s specific recommendations before the end of the fall semester and will begin implementation as quickly as possible.

  • Campus Camera System Upgrades

We are in the process of developing and evaluating efficacy of a campus-wide system of Department of Public Safety-controlled cameras to serve as both a deterrent to criminal activity and to support investigations.

Here are suggestions for extra steps you can take in regard to your personal safety and the safety of others. While some of these are obvious, they are always worth remembering:

  • Remain alert and vigilant and if you see something, say something. If you witness any suspicious behavior, call 911 immediately and report what you have seen.
  • Always exercise caution when walking in uncrowded areas or at night – stay in well-lit areas, walk with friends or use Safewalk (919-962-SAFE), or use other forms of transportation such as P2P (919-962-7867) so you are not alone.
  • Be sure to lock doors and windows to vehicles and residences and remove valuables from plain sight or unsecure locations.

We also want to solicit your feedback and ideas to promote safety on campus and in the surrounding community. Please let us know by contacting Jeff McCracken, director and chief of police, Department of Public Safety at 919-966-5730, or the Office of Student Affairs at 919- 966-4045.

Carolina also offers a range of support services for students, faculty and staff who want to talk further about these events.

For students:

For faculty and staff:

  • University’s Employee Assistance Program (services provided by ComPsych 24 hours a day), 877-314-5841.

Thank you for your vigilance and assistance as we all work together to make our community safe.


Carol L. Folt, Chancellor

Winston Crisp, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

Jeff McCracken, Director and Chief of Police, Department of Public Safety

About Informational Messages: The University sends an Informational Message to inform the campus community about a situation that is not an emergency, but is expected to be of significant interest to the campus. An Informational Message is one of three tiers of communication under the University’s revised emergency communications plan. Emergency Warning refers to a siren activation for a significant emergency. And a Timely Warning is issued if there is a continuing danger AND notification will not compromise law enforcement efforts.Sponsored by the UNC Department of Public Safety