Langston University security upgrades have helped prevent campus violence, police chief says

Langston University police Chief Michael Storr says security upgrades put in place after an October 2010 shooting appear to have quelled campus crime at the university. The university has had no major crimes since the incident, he said.
BY SILAS ALLEN sallen@opubco.com Published: January 6, 2012

The university hired six private security guards to focus on the university's housing areas at night, when most of the incidents occurred. Working with the university's 13 uniformed police officers, the guards patrol the area, Storr said.

If guards see a person loitering, they ask the person if he or she is a student or a visitor. Guards check students' campus identification cards and question visitors about whom they're visiting, he said.

Guards also serve as a visible presence on campus, which helps the university demonstrate that it takes security seriously, Storr said.

“They'll be our eyes and ears for us,” he said.

The 2010 incident wasn't Langston's first instance of campus violence. On Aug. 16, 2009, four people who weren't students were shot and wounded after a back-to-school party.

A month later, on Sept. 28, another gunman fired shots during an argument outside the Scholars' Inn Complex dormitory. No one was injured.

In the wake of the shootings, university officials invested more than $200,000 to improve security. Welcome shacks were set up at university entrances so no one could get in without campus police knowing why they were there.

More lighting and video cameras were installed throughout the campus, and university officials implemented an emergency alert system allowing them to warn students, faculty and staff of potential dangers via email, cellphones and other means.