Distributed March 11, 2002
For Immediate Release

News Service Contact: Mark Nickel

Campus safety and security

Brown commissions Bratton Group to lead campus security study

Brown University has commissioned a team of security consultants from the Bratton Group to study campus safety and security and to make recommendations for improvements. The work will begin March 11, with the final report due by the end of May.

PROVIDENCE —Brown University has hired an international security consulting firm to gather information about campus safety and to make recommendations for improvements.

The Bratton Group LLC, led by former New York City Police Commissioner William J. Bratton, will begin its work on campus March 11 and present its recommendations to the University by the end of May.

“The safety and security of the campus community is among the University’s most urgent concerns,” said Donald J. Reaves, executive vice president for finance and administration, to whom the Bratton Group will present its report. “The consultants we have hired represent a great depth of expertise in urban and community policing as well as in the particular challenges of security in a higher education setting. I am confident that by the end of the academic year we will have information and solid recommendations that will lead directly to significant improvements in campus and neighborhood security.”

At Brown’s request, the Bratton Group will focus on three important areas:

  • assessing police operations on the Brown campus;
  • coordinating safety and security strategies with other consultants currently working on improvements to the Thayer Street area;
  • developing a plan of action and recommendations for enhancing security and safety on and near the Brown campus, taking into account the particular challenges of policing a culturally diverse university campus.

The consulting group will interview a broad cross-section of the University community, including administrators, faculty, students, parents, campus neighbors and nearby business owners. It will also interview Providence Police officers who work near campus as well as Brown Police and Security officers, even accompanying officers in cruisers and on foot patrols.

In addition to the interviews, the consultants will gather data and information relevant to the issue of arming Brown’s campus police and will help evaluate the University’s current policy which requires campus police to disengage from potentially violent situations. The consultants will also review the Brown University Department of Police and Security Services with regard to resources, recruitment and training, technology for gathering and tracking crime statistics, and overall communications capabilities.

“By seeking input from a great variety of people on and off campus and by gathering data in an intense and very concentrated way, this study will give Brown a strong base of understanding from which to address security issues and needs,” said Paul Verrecchia, chief of police at Brown. “This is an opportunity few campuses ever receive. We welcome the consultants and look forward to working with them on this important and promising project.”

The Bratton Group will work with two other consultants on the project. It will hire Paul Johnson as a subcontractor. Johnson, a former Boston Police superintendent and Harvard police chief, will ensure that the project fully considers the challenges of developing a safety and security plan that is tailored for a private research university. The group will also work closely with Daniel Biederman, a consultant already hired by the University to focus on improvements to the Thayer Street business area. Biederman and the Bratton Group have worked together before, most notably on a safety plan for the Grand Central Partnership in New York City.

Bratton and four senior associates from his firm will serve as the consulting team at Brown.