Tulane takes first step toward new TUPD station on Broadway


Josh Jessiman

A photo of the new TUPD site

Mike Weilandt, Contributing Reporter

Tulane has taken the first steps toward increased Tulane University Police Department presence Uptown with the installation of a site trailer on the corner of Broadway and Zimpel Streets. The temporary site trailer, positioned facing The Boot Bar and Grill on Broadway and bearing the TUPD seal, is the precursor to a permanent structure, construction on which is set to begin in early summer 2021.

Previously the site of the now-defunct Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity house, the land has been property of Tulane for over a decade. Soon after the Tulane chapter of “Pike” was deactivated in 2008, the university purchased the land and demolished the existing house, recently installing the site trailer.

 “The location at Zimple and Broadway will increase student safety and provide more security in the adjacent neighborhood, which includes a lot of off-campus apartments and houses rented by students,” Kirk Bouyelas, TUPD chief of police, said. “The location of the station was chosen strategically — placed next to campus, on Broadway, where students and community members often travel.” 

With a recent increase in crime, including a standoff between police and a suspected serial armed robber who is alleged to have shot a Tulane affiliate, the increased police presence is being welcomed by some.

One Tulane student and Boot customer, Harry Graubard, expressed his concern about the recent criminal activity and how the station makes sense with this in mind. “I get it, with the increased crime in the area over the past couple months,” Graubard said. 

However, some students and residents in the area are not in favor of a perceived increased police presence in the area.

“It wasn’t put there for the crime though,” Angus Kearney, student and Broadway resident, said  while waiting for a slice of Boot Pizza. “It’s there to intimidate us, as someone who lives on Broadway. It’s a little ‘Soviet Russia.’”

Indeed, some students feel the station’s location directly across from The Boot feels ominous. Another Tulane student, Alex Flaum, when asked whether he would be more concerned about frequenting The Boot with the new station across the street, said, “Yeah, and it doesn’t make me feel any safer.”

The owner of the Mushroom, Christopher Hummel, expressed no concern about the new station, suggesting it is simply a continuation of the already prevalent policing in the area.

“I’m fine with it. I mean, there’s always a pretty significant TUPD and NOPD presence around here anyway,” Hummel said. “I like that it keeps anyone who’s potentially going to be a problem, maybe not hanging out. There has been a history of people who are not necessarily students coming to mix into the crowd and just starting stuff.”

Back in August, a number of students protested in favor of abolishing TUPD. These protests occurred during the first mentions of the police station’s construction among students and during the most recent wave of Black Lives Matter protests following the death of George Floyd.

Tulane will be breaking ground for the new building soon after the 2021 spring semester. 

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