UNC Charlotte Police Chief Assures Campus Is Safe

CHARLOTTE, NC. —  Classes begin at UNC Charlotte in less than three weeks. The campus police chief assures it’s safe for students. Many haven’t been back since the campus tragedy that claimed two lives in April.

UNC Charlotte Police Chief, Jeffrey Baker, wears two Niner green wristbands. They say “Charlotte Strong”.

“One for Riley and one for Reed. I haven’t taken them off since I got them,” says Chief Baker.

Riley Howell and Reed Parlier—the two students who were killed when a gunman opened fire inside the Kennedy Building on April 30th. Four other students were hurt.

Campus police responded to the Kennedy Building in about three minutes. The department has 55 officers. All of them train at least twice a year for active shooter scenarios. Chief Baker says the department has stepped up the level of training since April.

“We’ve brought in an outside assessment team that’s going to look at our response just to make sure we did everything we could, that kind of a thing.”

Chris Gonyar is the university’s Director of Emergency Management. He took WCCB Charlotte’s Alexandra Elich inside the future Emergency Operation Center.

“We have 900 or so cameras across campus we could pull up at any time,” says Gonyar.

Gonyar says they were well prepared for what happened. They were able to lock the campus down with the push of a bottom.

“We were in constant contact with our communications team, some of which were locked down, still pushing the emergency alerts, the Niner alerts that went out to campus community.”