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Message from Police Chief Savalas Kidd


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Dear University of Dayton parents and guardians,

We are writing to share a message from Police Chief Savalas Kidd that was sent to students this evening to clear up misinformation circulating about the dangerous public safety situation in the student neighborhood on Wednesday morning. 

William M. Fischer, J.D.
Vice President for Student Development

March 11, 2020

To the campus community: 

Last night, University and city police responded to a large, disorderly crowd of about 1,000 people blocking Lowes Street, preventing emergency medical access, damaging property, jumping on cars, and throwing objects in the roadway, at officers and at others in the crowd, resulting in at least one injury.

I am writing today to correct misinformation circulating widely on campus and social media about the incident. The facts are:

  • Officers at the scene issued orders for the crowd to disperse based on the size and behavior of individuals who were putting officers and civilians at risk. These orders were ignored. 
  • Because these orders were ignored, police were forced to deploy pepper balls into the crowd. Pepper balls are a standard police tool for crowd management, which deliver a non-toxic, irritant powder that disperses quickly. The active ingredient is similar to what is found in hot sauce.
  • Tear gas, rubber bullets, paintballs and gas canisters were never used.

As police officers, we try to support a campus environment where students can gather and celebrate safely. Last Saturday, we were on the scene when more than 2,000 people gathered after the College Gameday broadcast to have fun and enjoy each other without police intervention. But last night, the crowd created a dangerous situation, ignoring messages we have shared in the past and as late as last week to obey police orders, keep city streets clear, and refrain from damaging property and throwing objects.

In the future, we will continue to support responsible celebrations and intervene when dangerous situations arise. 

Thank you,
Savalas Kidd
Executive Director of Public Safety and Chief of Police