UPDATED: WKU Police to increase patrols in wake of recent violence

Herald Staff

A mass email was sent out to all WKU students Saturday afternoon alerting them that WKU Police patrols will increase beginning Saturday night.

The email comes after a spike in violence over the last few weeks on and around campus.

“Student safety is our highest priority. We want to assure the campus community that we are doing everything possible to provide a safe environment,” WKU Police Chief Bob Deane said in the email. “We will use an increased officer presence, specifically more officers on foot patrols, to supplement measures already in place, such as security cameras and emergency phones.”

The most recent incident came early Saturday morning at 1:25 a.m. when students were alerted via text message about an assault that occurred at the intersection of State Street and Normal Street.

According to the text alert, the alleged suspects are two black males in their 20s, approximately 6-feet tall and were last seen in dark sweatshirts and shorts.

WKUPD Public Information Officer Mandi Johnson said she has not seen the report for the robbery, but more information will be made available on Monday.

On April 14, a shooting occurred at Lava Lounge near WKU’s campus. Two football players, sophomore Tevin Holliman and freshman Ricardo Singh, sustained single gunshot wounds and were taken to the hospital with non life-threatening injuries.

Travis Fant, 22, of Bowling Green, was arrested in connection with the shootings and will be charged with assault in the first degree and possession of a stolen weapon.

Just a day later, senior Daniel Dunston, Zacharias Hall, was walking back to his dorm after eating dinner at the Downing University Center when two men in front of the Preston Center robbed him.

Johnson said the robbery is still being investigated at this time.

“Attempted robberies on campus and a shooting incident near campus have prompted WKU Police to issue alerts the past two weekends,” the email said. “Police investigations are continuing and at this point the incidents do not appear to be connected.”

All of it was enough for Demara Goodrich to move her pharmacology class’ study session scheduled for Thursday off campus to South Campus.

She sent an email to her class on Saturday notifying them of the change.

“Due to the various activity going on on campus (robberies, assaults), I decided to have our review session on south campus,” she wrote.

In the email to the student body, Deane urged students to take additional precautions, including traveling at night with friends or using the Dusk to Dawn Escort Service.  

He also said to avoid areas that are not well lit and report anything suspicious to police. 

Johnson agreed, and encouraged students to contact the on-campus escort service at 745-3333 or by calling the WKUPD main office at 745-2548 and requesting an escort.

“We’ll make sure you get from one location to another location safely,” Johnson said.

Housing and Residence Life staff will also increase their presence outside residence halls during the evening and overnight hours, the email said.

Johnson said that the end of the semester usually brings more thefts because textbooks can be readily sold for cash.