On Wednesday, Police Chief Jeffrey Baker conducted a webcast to answer questions submitted by students concerning campus safety.
Baker was joined by Dean of Students Christine Reed Davis and Student Body President Tracey Allsbrook.
The webcast follows multiple incidents at the university, including an armed robbery outside 0f the Student Union in February and a hit-and-run that resulted in a shooting near Lot 27 at the edge of campus on March 3. No one was injured. On March 12, police were also informed of a student who threatened to “shoot up” the school. That student has since been removed from campus. Earlier in the month, on March 9, a sexual assault occured on a walkway near campus heading towards Campus Walk Apartments.
During the live stream, Baker discussed safety measures taken by university police to prevent incidents from occurring.
“Although we’ve had some alarming incidents recently, violent crime is really rare on campus,” Baker said.
He emphasized that UNC Charlotte is a public campus and that having people who aren’t affiliated with the university on the premises is common. In some cases, incidents on campus don’t involve students. At a Student Government Association Senate meeting on Thursday, Baker revealed that 90 percent of crimes committed on campus are done by non-students.
To protect students, officers are strategically placed throughout campus to patrol areas around the clock and keep an eye out for suspicious activity.
Because of recent events, some students submitted questions regarding the university’s plan of action in the event of an active shooter. Baker explained that officers on campus go through active shooter training when the university is closed. Student organizations can also request to have law enforcement train them.
“Nothing is more important to us than the safety and security of our students, faculty and staff,” said Baker.
Students also submitted multiple questions about how the addition of the light rail stop will impact campus safety.
The police chief explained that the light rail has a contract with the security company G4S Secure Solutions, which allows for armed officers to keep watch over things. In addition to that, there are numerous high-resolution cameras placed inside the trains and at the light rail stops. Law enforcement officers are also stationed at every stop along the rail line.
A few of the questions also dealt with student’s safety after hours. Baker urged students to take precautions when moving about campus during late hours, including walking in groups and in well-lit areas.
Baker also addressed student’s concern with security in parking decks. There are no security cameras in the decks on campus, however Baker explained that there is almost no crime in parking decks. According to him, the number of vehicle break-ins has dropped dramatically in the last few years.
Throughout the stream, Baker highlighted the importance of the LiveSafe app, a tool that students can use to contact campus law enforcement directly. The app has features like police escort requests and an anonymous tip line for reporting suspicious activity. It also contains a GPS tracking system so that police can locate users in the event of an emergency.