Teaching Lessons for Life

September 23, 2003

Arthur Nead
Phone: (504) 865-5714

Crime prevention at Tulane has been re-energized. On June 1, Capt. Reid Noble took over as commander of the crime prevention and victim resources section of Tulane's Department of Public Safety. It's a job for which she has a lifetime of experience.

nobleNoble is both an experienced educator and a veteran of the New Orleans Police Department. Her involvement with Tulane started earlier than June 1, however.

She attended Newcomb College, graduating in 1967. She taught Spanish in high school for several years before deciding to join the police force.

When she first joined the New Orleans Police Department in 1978, she was assigned to the Second District, the area surrounding Tulane, Noble says.

In Noble's 23 years on the police force, she handled everything from squad car patrols to crime follow-up investigations to Public Integrity Division investigations of corrupt police.

Because of her prior teaching experience, she was assigned to be an instructor at the New Orleans Police Academy. There, she worked with members of other departments and enforcement agencies, including the New Orleans Fire Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. She went on to receive a master's degree in public administration from the University of New Orleans, writing her thesis on the subject of regional law enforcement cooperation. Tulane's public safety department has an excellent working relationship with the New Orleans Police Department, according to Noble.

"The captain of the Second District works very closely with us," she says. "We attend weekly meetings with the Second District on crime statistics and incidents that have occurred."

A core responsibility of the crime prevention section is educational. "We are trying to work with the students to prevent crime," Noble says. Noble and two sergeants implement all the programs that Tulane has in place, doing everything they can to put students, especially ones new to New Orleans, on their guard against crime.

One key way the section gets the word out about crime is by coordinating skits and presentations for incoming freshmen during orientation. To keep students alert, Noble's section publicizes campus crime statistics and puts up warnings when serious crimes occur. Noble is interested in seeing the Tulane Men Against Rape program reactivated.

"It had some movers and shakers who graduated," says Noble. "So we're looking to recruit more people. This is a good program because it not only makes women aware of what can happen, it raises the awareness of the guys as to what their accountability or penalties may be if they get in certain situations which by law are defined as rape. "The rape awareness program is student-oriented and student-driven. We act as liaisons and we're here to work with them," Noble says.

This fall, the crime prevention section is distributing several new posters around campus. One poster addresses date rape, and others alert students to be careful with personal property and residence hall security.

"Bicycles are a problem," says Noble. "And this summer I saw a student set down a laptop computer in the library and go to lunch--just walk off and leave it. Why beg for a problem?" Another component of the crime prevention program is Rape Aggression Defense training. "It is fantastic," says Noble. "It gives women the confidence to be able to ward off an attack and get away safely. "I would prefer to prevent crime instead of assist victims, but we are here for that," Noble says.

When necessary, Noble and her colleagues are prepared to assist victims in finding appropriate professional interventions.

"If they are victimized, we become the nurturing arm, which seeks intervention and helps them through whatever system they need to be involved in. "There are dire things that can occur to students, and we're there for them if it happens," says Noble. "For the most part, I think that the students are more responsible than students used to be. I have a lot of faith that they can do it, and hopefully take care of their friends as well."

Arthur Nead can be reached at

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Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000