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UNCW Police say better safe than sorry with campus alerts

READ MORE: UNCW Police say better safe than sorry with campus alerts

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Alerts from UNCW Police are becoming common for students and staff.

A few weeks ago an armed gunman robbed two people at the Hardee's next to UNCW. Over the weekend another man was spotted with a gun near campus. Both events triggered the school's alert system. But does a false alarm limit the effectiveness of the alerts?

"I'm certainly aware that some students and some employees may also take that approach to it, but I would just encourage the other view: it's working," UNCW Police Chief David Donaldson said.

UNCW leaders say they know some of the university's students and faculty are disgruntled by recent alerts, especially after a reported gunman over the weekend turned out to be a man returning from a hunting trip.

The sense among students Monday, though, seemed to be much the opposite. A few students say they stayed indoors until campus police sent out an all clear message.

"I really don't feel like it should be perceived as a joke, because it's such a serious matter," UNCW junior Joshua Kraszeski said. "Dealing with things that can escalate so quickly like that I really think you should take the opportunity to take it seriously, and even if it is a false alarm like that turned out to be, at least your taking the safe precaution."

Donaldson says the man with the gun over the weekend contacted university police himself after receiving the emergency alert. After police went out to Carleton Drive and spoke with him, they lifted the alert.

Donaldson says despite the lack of a threat it was not a false alarm. Unlike the situation at East Carolina University last month, where a man with an umbrella sparked an alert, this man did have a gun.

"We've been very fortunate to have incidents that have occurred after business hours," Donaldson said. "The university is in a relaxed state there's not a structured class schedule. There's fewer people on campus, fewer traffic on campus, so that was in our favor saturday night."

In each case the schools erred on the side of caution. For many that is a relief rather than a hassle.

"I believe it is effective, even though we do get a lot of alerts lately," UNCW senior Amelia Driscoll said. "I would rather the police be safe than sorry, and I'm glad that we have these alerts."

Chief Donaldson says there will be no changes for how or when the campus police will use the alert system.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.



to the United States of WE ARE SCARED OF LIFE...those little "alerts" DO NOTHING...if someone wanted to do something wouldn't be hard to do it. Here is how our forefathers lived...LIVE FREE...if you die living free...SO BE least you had the opportunity to know freedom...STOP BEING A BUNCH OF PANSIES AFRAID OF EVERYTHING! BAD people do BAD THINGS...laws, alerts and the like do NOTHING to those who do bad things...

Jaybird Mouth...

Guest7969...pretty easy to be brave when your anonymous, huh?

Can't win...

Let me see if I have this straight. Not too long ago there was an investigation because the emergency system wasn't activated fast enough, and now people are complaining that they are getting too many alerts. What will it take to make you people happy? Chief Donaldson, you just can't please everyone. Keep up the fine work you are doing to keep UNCW safe. And shame on news outlets trying to create news when there really IS no news.


Chief Donaldson stop posting comments about how great you are. Everyone knows that you are currupt and not fit to write parking tickets. maybe thats why you have had 6 Captains and a Major quit in the last 2 years.

UNCW gunman

Talk about an over reaction. This incident was not on UNCW property. Guns are not illegal. Misusing the 911 system and filing false police reports are. The person who called this in needs to be charged with something and owes everybody an apology.

Keep shouting wolf ..............

Seriously, what brain dumb nit-wit called the cops for a guy taking a rifle INTO his house located 1/2 mile away from the campus.

What a joke.

But when an actual threat does occur, people will be so immune to all the warnings that it will be for nothing.

That won't be funny.


But when a guy shot someone and ran onto campus with the gun they didnt notify anyone. Those fake cops are a joke.