With the Feb. 4 Tucker Hall bomb threat and post-9-11 precautions, FAMUPD has heightened its awareness and has adapted new security measures in hopes of preventing potential on-campus terrorist attacks.
The University police said since Sept. 11, they are no longer focusing just on the obvious law enforcement violations, such as driving under the influence and speeding; but are now focusing more on situations that are out of the ordinary.
“Prior to 9-11, the whole arena of law enforcement and security was not as tight,” said Mike Wallace, FAMU assistant chief of police. “With the terrorist attacks, there were things that were not imagined we would have to guard against.”
Wallace said even though many people believe that no one would harm the University, he cautions that terrorist often use other targets as means to an end. He warns skeptics that injuring people is not always the prime objective of terrorists.
“Terrorism is means to get attention, not necessarily to hurt people,” Wallace said.
“Many terrorists’ victims were never meant to be the real target,” he said. “They couldn’t get to the first target, so they go to a secondary or tertiary target.”
With the University located only blocks from the state capitol, many feel that it makes the University more of a terrorist target. However, Wallace said that it has helped, more than hurt the University.
“In most cases, it’s been a plus,” Wallace said. “If something becomes a threat we are among the first to be notified.”
Since 2001, Wallace said FAMU has plausible terrorist circumstances.
“I’m not paranoid, but I’m cautious,” Nicholson said.
Kenneth Milstead, 20, has other ideas as to how campus police can improve.
“There should be an increase in on-foot police patrols throughout campus,” said the junior business administration student from Houston. “They should also keep an open dialogue with the FAMU Safe Team.”
Wallace would not comment on what information he has received from the federal or local level, but said there is no imminent threat.
“Hopefully the local and campus police will continue to maintain our safe environment,” Milstead said. “We’re just blessed that nothing has happened on campus.”
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