Several buildings on the University of La Verne campus were on lockdown for less than a half-hour during the morning of Feb. 11, though the full campus community was only alerted to this by a brief email message two hours after the dangerous situation was resolved.
The message, times-stamped 12:47 p.m, read: “On February 11, 2019, at 10:17 a.m., La Verne Police Department notified Campus Safety of a security issue near the university. This incident occurred off campus on Second Street east of E Street.
“LVPD requested that the University’s Center for Teaching and Learning, Cogley Building, Health Center, and the Counseling and Psychological Services /Accessibility Services Center be locked down during the incident.
“The situation concluded at 10:40 a.m. and LVPD lifted the lockdown request. This notice is for informational purposes only.
Several students expressed their concern with the vagueness of the message, and its timing, which didn’t give them the chance proceed more cautiously – if they wanted to.
“I feel as though they could have attached more to (the message) – letting us know as a student body what was going on,” said Jeff May, senior business administration major. “So we could be well informed as to why part of our campus was locked down instead of it being two hours later saying ‘hey we were on lockdown; LVPD is working on it’ and that was it.”
Senior kinesiology major Austin Brown said he remembers seeing the email from Campus Safety and recalling its vagueness.
“It didn’t really fill you in on what exactly had occurred just where the incident occurred,” Brown said. “If they could’ve filled us in a little bit more, that would’ve been more of a help.”
“We made contact with those buildings and advised everybody to stay in those buildings,” said David Keetle, interim Campus Safety director.
The Police Department notified Campus Safety that there was a “subject” refusing to come out of his house, Keetle said.
“In the first part of the lockdown, they told us that it was no threat to the campus,” Keetle said. “It was just a precautionary lockdown.”
However, according to the the Police Department arrest report, the suspect was 35-year-old Andre Stuart Baker, who was arrested for a violation to appear in court for a previous domestic violence offense on Second St. at 11:43 a.m. that day.
“We put out what we were told by police,” Keetle said. “We didn’t have much detail to put in it. “We put that out because I knew people were going to hear about the lockdown and we wanted to make sure they were aware of what we knew.”
Keetle recommends that all students enter their cell phone numbers into Campus Safety’s Banner system, which sends automatic text messages and voicemail as well as email in such events.
“If your cell phone number is in (Banner) you will get a text message,” Keetle said. “Everybody gets an email but I realize that’s slow and you might not check your email frequently.”
For more information visit laverne.edu/technology.
Dominic Honoré can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.