TUPD satisfied with NOPD despite hiccups in communication, Barnwell says

Luisa Venegoni, Senior Staff Reporter

Tulane University Police Department aims to release crime alerts for all notable crime adjacent to campus, but not all crime reports involving non-Tulane affiliates are released in a timely manner.

A woman reported an armed robbery near Tulane’s Uptown campus to the New Orleans Police Department Saturday. Three men robbed a non-Tulane-affiliated woman at 10:32 p.m. in her driveway on Newcomb Boulevard. The perpetrators approached the woman and her vehicle and demanded her purse and keys. When she screamed, the armed man struck her with his weapon. When the victim fell, the men took her purse and stole her vehicle.

TUPD did not release a crime report until 7 p.m. the following day.

TUPD Superintendent Jon Barnwell said TUPD did not issue a crime report at the time of the incident because NOPD did not report the event to TUPD.

NOPD did, however, arrest one 16-year-old boy Monday in connection with the incident. He was also arrested in connection with the murder of Domino’s Pizza driver Richard Yeager Sunday night in Mid-City.

Barnwell said that communication between the two police departments is excellent, but not every incident involving a non-Tulane affiliate is immediately reported to TUPD.

“Unfortunately, sometimes we have situations where there’s an incident we would like to know about that doesn’t involve a Tulane affiliate, and we don’t know about until the next day and have to reach out to NOPD,” Barnwell said. “We’re constantly doing a better job of enhancing that communication.”

The Clery Act requires campus police departments to send out timely warnings when events such as murders, manslaughter, sexual assaults by a stranger or on-campus robberies occur. Though TUPD is not required to send out crime alerts for off-campus armed robberies involving non-Tulane affiliates, it often does.

“There’s no requirement to send out a timely alert, but if we find out about it like we did this past weekend, it’s the right thing to do to let our community know what’s going on,” Barnwell said.

Barnwell said he is pleased with the relationship between NOPD and TUPD.

“I’m not going to say you can’t improve it, because you can always improve it,” Barnwell said. “I will say [however, that] the information sharing and the collaboration between NOPD and TUPD is as good or better than any other place I’m aware of in the country.”

NOPD did not respond to multiple requests for comment.