ECU ups security measures
(Mar. 12, 2004)
East Carolina University will increase police patrols and restrict access to residence halls as investigators work to solve two recent cases involving the use of weapons on campus, officials said today (March 12).
Residence hall advisers will be stationed at Belk Hall and Scott Hall from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. daily, and police officers will increase patrols, effective immediately, Police Chief Robert Stroud said. Incidents occurred in those two buildings this week, and the floor plans make access to the buildings especially difficult to control, Stroud said. In other campus residence halls, entrance for residents and visitors will be restricted to the main door in the building, he said.
Crime Stoppers has offered a reward of up to $2,500 for information leading to arrests and convictions in those cases. "We are committed to ensuring the safety of the entire campus community - students, faculty and staff," Stroud said. "Nothing is more important to the university."
The measures announced today follow these incidents this week:
* On Wednesday night (March 10), two students were robbed at gunpoint in their room in Belk Hall. Cash and belongings were taken but there were no injuries.
* Early this morning (March 12), a student reported that someone had entered his room in Scott Hall and pointed a gun at his head. The intruder left immediately without taking anything. There were no injuries.
* On Sunday (March 7), a handgun was found on the floor of a shower in Tyler Hall. The weapon had been reported stolen from a residence in Greenville.
In the incident in Belk, the assailants apparently gained entry by catching the door when another student left the suite. They were then let into the room by another resident of the suite, Stroud said. In Scott Hall, he said, the assailant came in through the exterior of the suite. It is unclear if the door was unlocked or blocked open.
"It is critical that our students be full partners with us in campus safety," Stroud said. "They are the most important links in protecting themselves and their classmates, roommates and neighbors."
In response to two sexual assaults earlier this year, ECU had already initiated enhanced security measures including increased rounds by patrol officers, taking bids on additional security cameras, installing additional lighting and asking for bids on the construction of a fence to keep people out of the wooded area behind Jones Residence Hall.