U of M to boost safety measures in response to armed robbery attempt


University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler says the school is taking more measures to keep students safe following an attempted armed robbery on the Twin Cities campus Monday, KSTP reports.

Kaler said in a letter Tuesday that the campus will add more foot and bicycle patrols, in addition to installing more security cameras.

Currently there are about 1,700 security cameras on campus, one of which captured an image of the suspect in the armed robbery attempt of a female student at Anderson Hall Monday.

According to authorities, the suspect demanded the woman's laptop and showed her a gun. When she screamed, the suspect ran into the university’s tunnel system with her empty backpack, police said.

The suspect remains at large. He is described as a black male about 20 years old and 6 feet tall. He was wearing a black, puffy jacket with a hood, police said.

Kaler also said the university would continue to work with Minneapolis police on security measures, as well as encourage students to use the Gopher Chauffeur escort program.

WCCO reports that demand for the campus escort service, which offers rides to campus on Friday and Saturday nights, is up this year.

"It’s a record year. We already have 500 rides up from this same period last year," Gopher Chauffeur director David Golden told the station.

Students also receive text alerts in the event of an emergency. KARE says about 68,000 employees and students were warned to seek shelter following Monday's incident, though some students claim they didn't receive the alert.

U of M Emergency Management Director Lisa Dressler says all students with a campus email address are automatically signed up for the school's TXT-U system, but it's possible their phone numbers weren't verified or they could have been in buildings with spotty cell service.

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