UNCP students expressed concern about the lack of information after a resident reported a gun-wielding man outside of their room in Pine Hall, on Monday, Jan. 23.
The armed man was sighted at 9:12 p.m. Students, including those in Pine Hall, were notified of this report by email at 10:11 p.m. No extended safety measures, such as a lockdown, were mandated in the report. The email also did not make clear what the police were doing to apprehend the suspect, nor did it have information on what the students were supposed to do to stay safe.
“I would have liked more information in the moment, because I was in the building,” Marissa Eller, a resident in Pine Hall, said. “I suddenly felt unsafe and I didn’t know what to do about it.”
Students also questioned why the email came in an hour after the incident had taken place, stunned that they were left unaware for an hour.
“I thought (the email) was really lacking on information and it was sent out a lot later than it should have been,” said Jackie Porter, also a resident in Pine Hall.
Campus police are responding to the students’ concerns by implementing phase two and three of “UNCP’s Camera Project”, which calls for security cameras to be installed at the entrance and exit of each floor in every resident hall.
Police Chief Cummings spoke about future communication with students, regarding an emergency situation. Chief Cummings said that he felt sending out another email when there was no new information would have caused unnecessary alarm.
“In the future, a follow up email [will be sent out], just from public safety, not in the timely warning format, of what is going on and tips.” said Chief Cummings, “What the students, faculty and staff need to know is where we’re at, this is what’s going on, this is what you need to do.”
The campus was not locked down due to lack of definitive evidence, according to Chief Cummings.
Currently the police shifts consist of one supervisor and three officers that are on constant patrol of academic, business and housing buildings.
If students do not recognize someone or notice something suspicious on campus, they can call the campus police at 910.521.6235.