Following the death of Florida A&M University student Quinton Langford, FAMU Chief of Police Terence Calloway, wants to know what the FAMU Police Department can do to make students feel safe.
Students gathered in FAMU Village Tuesday night to inform officers of their safety concerns and to hear what measures officers are taking to keep them safe. Several students voiced their concerns.
Students like freshman Kyra Freeman feel uneasy when commuting from one side of campus to the other. “I feel safe on campus unless I’m walking at night,” said Freeman.
Calloway stressed that students can pick up the phone and call FAMU police at any time they feel unsafe on campus. “If you don’t see a police officer call me,” said Calloway, who gave students his cellphone number. “Don’t be afraid to pick up your phone.”
The chief of police wanted to make sure all students have the Blackboard Connect application. Students that download the application, will receive text messages from the FAMU police department alerting them immediately of any incidents on campus.
Calloway talked about the 352 cameras on campus and the additional lighting that will be added. “We can see everything,” said Calloway. The FAMU police department plans to re-launch the Student Escort Team (SET), which is a team of students that transport other students to different locations on campus.
Officers are aware that students will leave campus for parties and other things, but Lieutenant William Evers wanted to ensure that student knows that there are risks.
“When you leave campus we can’t protect you. We don’t want you to feel closed in, but when you leave campus and go to these house parties we can’t protect you,” Evers said.
FAMU is the only Historically Black College/University (HBCU) that has its own active shooter video. Calloway made sure students saw it and were informed on the necessary precautions they needed to take in case FAMU ever faces that situation.
Overall, officers want students to take three actions during an active shooter situation: run, hide and fight.
With technology being a huge part of today’s society, FAMU is providing a safety application. LiveSafe is an application that offers students a quick and convenient way to contact FAMU police. Students can send texts, videos, or pictures to police about an incident. If a student would prefer to send in an anonymous alert, they will be able to do so. Students can also request an officer or the student escort team to walk with them at night by utilizing the new application.
“I feel like the forum was very resourceful… It brought awareness throughout the campus so people can know what’s going on,” said Netanya Laraque, FAMU freshman.
On Nov. 15, the FAMU police department will host a safety walk. Students will meet at the Grand Ballroom and split into teams. The teams will walk around campus, and students will have the opportunity to point out their safety concerns to officers. The organization that shows up and has the most participants will win a prize. “It’s important that we identify everything,” said Calloway.
For more information on campus safety, contact the FAMU police department at (850) 599-3256.