Lockdown update




Investigation continues and A.L.I.C.E. inconsistencies addressed, suspicious person remains unconfirmed

Campus police received two reported sightings of a suspicious person possibly carrying a long gun on campus on Thurs­day, Sept. 4. One sighting was outside the GEB building, while the other occurred in the parking lot outside the fitness center. The college was locked down for three hours as campus police searched for the suspect. No shots were fired and nothing was confirmed.

After scanning the surveillance foot­age during the time of the threat, cam­pus police have still not located anyone matching the description given.

“We’ve looked everywhere we can look, viewed everything we can view,” said Officer Scott Wargin. “We’ve just not come up with anything.”

Unless more information comes to light, the case may soon become inactive – not closed, but not being actively inves­tigated. Officer Dan Robles says this is typical of a case that size.

“When you have something that hap­pens like this as big as this was it could take several weeks or months,” said Robles. “I think sometimes people get this feeling when they watch [crime] TV shows that they’ve got to get it wrapped up in an hour and it takes a long time to do all that. “

Anyone with additional information on the suspect should contact the campus police in the Carlsen Center, room 115. In any emergency or suspicious situation, it’s encouraged to call campus officials at 913-469-2500.

Alisa Pacer addresses A.L.I.C.E. incon­sistencies and misunderstandings.

The lockdown was the first time the college had enacted A.L.I.C.E. proce­dures, and Alisa Pacer, the college’s emer­gency preparedness manager, had to re­spond to a perceived threat.

“I think that overall the campus did a good job of using the protective actions in place,” said Pacer. “I know we weren’t 100 percent consistent campus-wide, but I think the campus took the lockdown very seriously.”
The first reported sighting was at 3:11 p.m. and the alert did not go out until 29 minutes after the fact.

Student, Haley Bonebrake was on campus during the lockdown and she said that the time delay was disconcert­ing.  “There was this big chunk of time where no one knew anything but there was a possible weapon on campus,” said Bonebrake. “That scared me more than anything else.”

Pacer said the alert was withheld because policy is to send alerts once the threat has been confirmed.   “Whenever a report is made, the ini­tial priority is to investigate to determine the validity of the report,” said Pacer. “Al­ways.”

Officers with the Police Academy on campus are permitted to carry their fire­arms and Pacer said there have been inci­dents where someone reported a firearm on campus, but it was one of those offi­cers wearing a coat over their uniform.

“Typically, we’ve been able to locate and identify that person very quickly,” said Pacer. “One time an umbrella was perceived as a sword.
“If shots had been fired, we would have seen many many reports, many calls to substantiate much more quickly [what was happen­ing],” she said. “We would have gotten the information out so folks would have been able to protect themselves.”

Bonebrake was sitting out­side of the SCI building when she received the first alert message and found herself locked out of communications class until a teacher recog­nized her and let her in. They and several other students were in a back conference room watching the news.

“What just kind of irked me was the fact that the news was getting more informa­tion than the students inside the school were getting,” said Bonebrake. “The only updates we got were, ‘We’re still look­ing for this person. This per­son has not been found. The school is still on lockdown.’ We wanted to know, is this a male, is this a female? We wanted a description, what building they were seen in and we had to find all that out from Twitter and the news.”

Pacer said the description of the suspect was not sent out again due to the lack of sub­stantiated information.

Announcements over the PA system were heard in some areas and not oth­ers, which Pacer said was intentional in order to direct messages to targeted areas. Bonebrake didn’t hear any announcements, outside nor inside COM.

“That’s one of the reasons why I was confused when I got the text [alert]”, said Bone­brake. “I feel like there should be some kind of announce­ment, some kind of intercom system telling us the school’s on lockdown.”

Pacer said the feedback she has received on the TV moni­tors was that all except one were on alert once the lock­down was implemented. The alert that was supposed to go out over all the computers on campus malfunctioned, but her department has fixed and tested it.

Pacer advises all students to make sure their phones are set up to receive campus alerts and that their current phone number is in the sys­tem. Students can add two additional phone numbers for their loved ones to receive alerts as well.

“The intention [is to] to do unified messaging, from all systems, from web to social media,” said Pacer. “JCCC Alert is an output program; the information is only as good as the information they’ve been provided.”


Contact Christina Lieffring, news editor, clieffri@jccc.edu



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