Safety and Security of Our Community

All Students
James E. Ryan, President

To the University Community: 

Late last night, a UVA student was inadvertently struck by a bullet fired inside a bar and restaurant on the Corner.  Fortunately, the student received prompt medical care and is expected to make a full recovery, and the Charlottesville Police Department has already made an arrest in this case.

The safety of our students is our highest priority, and any harm that comes to a member of this community, especially when they are on or near Grounds, is deeply disturbing.  This incident is especially troubling because it comes on the heels of several reports of shots fired in neighborhoods near Grounds. 

University leaders and public safety officials are aware of this trend, and we are devoting additional resources to keep members of this community safe. For years, the University Police Department (UPD) has worked cooperatively with their counterparts in Charlottesville to patrol areas of the city near UVA Grounds together. In recent weeks, UPD has increased personnel in those jointly patrolled areas. We have also placed more University Ambassadors in those areas so they can assist students if necessary and help identify potential criminal acts and report them to police more quickly. When criminal acts do occur in areas near Grounds, UVA public safety personnel work closely with their counterparts in the City of Charlottesville to investigate and apprehend those responsible. 

Another important element of our public safety plan is the community alert system.  This is how most members of our community learned of this incident Saturday morning, as well as the arrest of one suspect and the ongoing search for a suspect in another case. This system provides timely information to help community members stay safe in the event of a threat – it is important for all community members to monitor these alerts closely. We also ask every member of our community to aid our public safety efforts by calling 911 immediately if they feel their own safety or the safety of another person is at imminent risk. 

Our University’s location within the vibrant Charlottesville community is one of its defining features. We are very fortunate that violent acts like last night’s shooting and the inadvertent injury to our student are rare. While no amount of policing or other resources will prevent every criminal act, we will continue to work as hard as we can to keep our community safe.  Toward that end, I have asked our safety and security team to meet and to bring back recommendations of any additional measures that we can take to ensure the safety and security of our community. 

I’d like to thank those who have written us to express concerns about the safety of our University community, as well as the devoted professionals who have been working hard to keep our community safe.  


Jim Ryan