Public Safety did not alert community after unauthorized person brings gun on campus


Nadia Hernandez

The Daley Building is located on 14 E Jackson Blvd, where several colleges including the College of Communication, are housed.

An unauthorized person brought a gun into the Maggie C. Daley Building on Nov. 4, according to the DePaul Public Safety report.

Public Safety then contacted Chicago Police who then, “spoke to the individual” and no arrest was made, according to Robert Wachowski, director of Public Safety.

The original report on the crime summary sent to The DePaulia on Nov. 10 said, “An Unlawful Possession of Firearms report was filed regarding an unauthorized person in possession of a firearm in the Daley Building.”

“There was never a threat to the community,” Wachowski said in a statement to The DePaulia. “The situation did not meet the criteria for sending a DPU Alert or any other safety notification.”

The report did not provide any details about what time Chicago Police came in or who the individual was.

Public Safety sends several mass communications to inform the DePaul community about crime, including DPU alerts that disclose potential safety concerns or risks. Public Safety decides the criteria of each incident individually.

In the 2021 Safety and Security Information and Fire Safety report, they outline the criteria for informing the public.

“For example, if an offender has been apprehended, there may not be a serious or continuing threat to the campus community,” the report reads. “Similarly, if the crime is reported to Public Safety long after the crime has occurred, there may not be a serious or continuing threat to the campus community.”

Freshman Vanessa Ramos was at the Daley Building and Loop campus from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and she said Public Safety did not inform anybody about the incident.

“No, they didn’t mention anything at all,” Ramos said. “It’s just weird how they didn’t mention anything.”

Other DePaul students, both on and off the Loop campus, said they would have liked to have been informed after the incident occurred.

“I definitely would have liked to be informed,” said junior Luca Dalton.

Kristin Pengally, a faculty member in DePaul’s College of Communication, located in the Daley Building, said she wanted to be informed.

“I’m a faculty member…would absolutely like to know how or why this happened, and how they’ll prevent it from happening again,” Pengally said.

Illinois is a concealed carry state and does not allow open carry, according to Illinois gun laws.

Public Safety makes the decision to inform the DePaul community on a case-by-case basis, according to the 2021 report.

“The underlying principle in distributing timely warnings is to distribute the relevant information to the appropriate people quickly and effectively,” the report said. “Decisions about whether to issue a timely warning, the information to include in a timely warning, and the form in which a timely warning will be issued, will be made on a case-by-case basis by Public Safety, in light of the relevant circumstances.”

This incident follows several armed robberies around 711 stores by the Loop campus. Public Safety has not disclosed any timeline about the incident and no arrests were made.