11/18/2009 Brodhed fiddles while 2 more students are robbed at gunpoint

Fact Checker here.

Dean Sue's statement that the number of patrols in the area has been increased is unclear.

On September 24th, the Chronicle also reported patrols have been increased in response to a robbery. Is this what she was referring to, or has there been a second increase?

I ask again questions from September 24:

-- where are the cops for more patrols coming from? Overtime? New hires? Or are we stripping them from other beats, taking risks there?

-- what was the frequency of patrol in the high crime areas before, and what is it now? Is there a maximum, substantial, visible police presence?

-- Is there a decoy operation? If not, why not.

-- is the department overall up to its full strength?

-- have the three police Majors who took early retirement under the first incentive plan been replaced with fully qualified leaders who are already on the job? Readers, you can see the giant flaw that our administrators negligently allowed to creep into that incentive plan, where people vital to Duke left with extra money, and then they had to be replaced. In the 2nd plan, the administrators limited incentives to employees identified as non-vital, but not one resident of Allen Building has had the integrity to stand and say they made a mistake.

-- has anyone with higher rank than Dean Sue been heard from?

Mr. Brodhead, I bet you'd have plenty to say if Duke students were robbing citizens of Durham regularly. Have you requested more Durham Police patrols? If so, what response did you get?

Mr. Trask, you have direct responsibility for Duke police. You are on record as wanting to reduce the number of armed police officers, asking how often do we need a cop with a gun, replacing officers with cheaper security guards from an outside contractor. Is that still your view? Will fiscal cutbacks in any way affect the Duke Police department. You can use the space below to type your answer.

Fact Checker, the first question you need to ask is which police department has jurisdiction at the intersection of Lancaster and Markham. The robbery appears to have taken place outside the walls of East Campus, which at first glance appears to place the robbery in the Durham PD's beat. I'm hopeful that the Duke and Durham PDs work together when they patrol the area around East Campus, but ultimately when it comes to questions of responsibility and politics these questions are the first ones that need to be asked--I'm not exactly convinced that Mr. Brodhead is the first person you need to be investigating.

It's too bad that 1:15 am is too late to be safely driving home in that side of town.

Flatlander.... you will find that both Duke and Durham police have jurisdiction. In fact Duke Police do patrol areas outside of the campus walls. We were assured those very patrols were "increased."

Mr Brodhead does not have responsibility to patrol himself. However:

-- He does have Tallman Trask reporting to him directly, and questions have swirled around Trask's leadership of our police department for some time. A good place to start research is the work of columnist Elliot Wolf in the Chronicle archive approximately three years ago -- the kind of work, frankly, that this newspaper does not do anymore.

Wolf: substantiation of low morale and churning of personnel, documentation of incompetence, in-breeding and favoritism. All at the cost of our safety.

Not to mention later developments like the arrest of a cop apparently deeply involved in S and M, whips and floggers and butt plugs, charged with rape and forced sodomy, not to mention allegations that he drugged his victim, all giving rise to most disturbing questions about why this officer was hired to start with. What does Mr. Brodhead think of Trask's performance in this area?

-- Mr. Brodhead is also in direct charge of the vice president whom he added to the already-bloated administrative ranks, specifically concerned with Durham relations. I would hope Durham-on-Duke crime is at the top of his assignments, though I hear nothing. Hello. Hello. Hello. You doing more than smiling at Chamber of Commerce meetings?

-- So far as I can determine, and Fact Checker tries to keep up with all the news releases, Duke Today, the President's posted speeches and other sources, Mr. Brodhead has minimal comment on anything.

In recent months, a student was shot, others approached with knives and guns, not to mention the lesser serial crimes involving our cars and property. Comment? I hear Dean Sue, but Dick, where are you?

Last year the annual budget for student services was cut, suffering a hit like no other area at Duke (see Fact Checker archive, which is http://DukeFactChecker.blogsspot.com, entry of 11-17-2009). Housekeeping services in the dorms have been cut back, the student health pharmacy shuttered, and we've seen the blotched merger of the International and Multicultural facilities with Duke's first two layoffs. (Actually the Herald-Sun reported two others some time back, both in the lemur center. Chronicle never picked up on that though it was flagged for editors).

In other words, students have absorbed the brunt of all cuts. Tell me what's been taken from the administration or the faculty?

I am starting to hear rumbles out of athletics about the future of a couple of our teams, and who knows what else is coming through the pipeline. Anyone, please tell me if Brodhead has commented specifically on any of this.

When is the last time Mr Brodhead spoke out in general on Duke's fiscal crisis? You know, stood before us to answer questions and follow ups? What alumni meetings has he appeared at this year? Student meetings? Fact Checker knows Brodhead once assured us our money was "safe and secure" as other universities swirled, but I have not heard anything of substance for quite some time. He listed five Duke trustees who are watching over our money -- three of them subsequently canned at their jobs and one pushed into early retirement. With leaders like that, why does Fact Checker worry?

Hello, hello? You still there?

Oh yes, there was comment as a faculty member, Gary Hull, released a book featuring depictions of the Prophet Muhammad, the founder of Islam. But Brodhead did not even come forth personally to underline our uncompromising historical position on academic freedom. He sent out his mouthpiece, a weak substitute.

In a larger time frame and on a larger scale, Mr Brodhead went to Washington to lobby for research funds for the faculty; I have seen nothing indicating substantial involvement as Congress wrestled with crucial questions on student financial aid in the past 18 months.

For decades the stakeholders in Duke were mailed the annual report of the President. Fellow Dukies, this guy doesn't even write one anymore. Even his annual address to the faculty has not taken place on schedule this fall, but to be fair, and Fact Checker is fair, I heard that a few weeks ago he was trying to find a space bigger than last year's, which was a sub-sub basement room in the Divinity School (check it out) that seats 107.

Hello, hello? Knock, knock!

Fact Checker!!!

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