Concern for safety rises as incidents of armed crime escalate

To most students, Tallahassee is seen as a safe place to live. However, Florida A&M University’s campus and surrounding areas have experienced several shootings within the past month.

It has been reported in previous articles of the Famuan, that the following student residential properties have experienced incidents of gun violence: Palmetto Phase III, Saturday, Sept. 22; Gibbs Hall, Wednesday, Sept. 26; Sunrise Place Apartments and University Courtyard Apartments, Saturday, Oct. 6; and Gibbs Hall, Oct. 7.

Fredrick Simmons, a 23-year-old senior political science student from Hernando, Fla., believes the recent acts of violence are immature.

“It’s time for people to grow up,” Simmons said.

Simmons is a resident of University Courtyard Apartments, where a shooting took place Saturday. He said prior to that incident, the complex never really had shootings.

Simmons said that Tallahassee has two major colleges and one community college, with students who are suppose to be pursuing a higher education, but have lowered their standards by resolving their problems with violence.

Juleon Barnes, 22, a senior business student from Fort Worth, Texas, said that he is stunned by the shootings.

“It was a surprise to me to hear about all the shootings in Tallahassee,” Barnes said. “I just stayed inside and waited it out.”

Lt. A. Kirkland, of FAMU’s Police Department, said that the shootings are unfortunate, but not unusual.

Kirkland said she wants students to recognize the seriousness of gun violence and wants to encourage those who see or hear anything to report it to FAMUPD or the Tallahassee Police Department.

“This is not the wild-wild west,” Kirkland said. “We want students to be as safe as possible. I do not want students or parents to stress about being unsafe while on campus.”

She added that she did not want students to be afraid of getting into trouble, or believe that their identity will be revealed if they share information with the police about crimes they have seen or heard.

Kirkland said campus police are only interested in the facts.

“We are just seeking info [and] witnesses can remain anonymous if they choose to.” Kirkland said.

Kirkland explained that students are extra eyes and ears for the campus police.

“We are counting on students to inform us,” Kirkland said.

If there is an emergency, Kirkland suggested that students call 911 immediately for speedy response. However, if there is no emergency, whether on or off campus, students can call FAMUPD. FAMUPD may deal with the issue or contact other parties that can better handle it.

Students are encouraged to signup for the E2Campus service that is offered by FAMUPD. This service immediately informs subscribers to the service through a text message or by e-mail when emergencies occur on campus.

Kirkland said that when students get these notifications through E2Campus they are encouraged to contact the FAMUPD with any information they have.

Students can sign-up for E2Campus through If anyone has information about recent or future campus crimes, contact FAMUPD at 599-3256.