Statement to campus community from Police Chief Kathy Zoner

Listen to the statement


Hi everyone. This is Cornell Police Chief Kathy Zoner. For the past few weeks, this campus has been in active conversation about recent sexual assaults and bias crimes. I wanted to take a few moments to share with you what I can about our investigations and the recent crime alerts we've sent to the community.

But, first, I want to express my profound empathy and my heartfelt gratitude to the survivors of these assaults. These types of crimes – especially sexual assaults – are notoriously under-reported. Current estimates are that over two-thirds of sexually motivated crimes are never reported to the police. The increased number of reports we have experienced here at Cornell tell me that our community is increasingly confident in coming forward and reporting these crimes. The courageous people who have taken the time to do so and who have continued to work with law enforcement officials investigating these incidents are my personal heroes. Because of them, we have information, evidence and necessary leads for furthering all of our investigations.

And I'd like to speak to the community about the investigations, as well. As much as we would like to share more about our investigative efforts, doing so would interfere with, and greatly decrease our ability to apprehend the persons responsible for these reprehensible acts. It is a tricky matter – sharing our gains and leads might go a long way toward reassuring our community that we are gaining ground and working hard – and yet, revealing too much, publicly, might also give the perpetrators information that could bring our investigations to a screeching halt. I can share with you that we are very actively working on all of the recently reported unsolved crimes associated with the crime alerts, and we will continue to follow up on any leads we receive.

As always, we seek your engagement and ask that anyone who has any information that might add to our investigations – no matter how insignificant it may seem to be – to please bring that information to us.

In closing, I want to remind students, staff, faculty, and parents of the many resources --for support, reporting, and engagement-- we have on campus. Many of these can be readily accessed through Cornell's website:

Thank you.