Last updated on October 30th, 2015 at 02:59 pm
Tennessee State University has increased campus patrol with the addition of Metro Nashville Police officers. This comes following a shooting on campus Thursday night involving two males not enrolled at TSU. The combination of the TSU Police Department and Metro law enforcement is part of the on-going relationship between the university and NPD.
“I want to thank Mayor Megan Barry and Metro Police for this alliance to help provide a safe and nurturing environment for our students and peace of mind for their parents,” TSU President Glenda Glover said. “The last 48 hours have been a trying time for our university family, especially our students. My first priority is to assure them and their families that they are safe and will remain safe on campus. TSU’s partnership with Metro Police is not new. Chief [Steve] Anderson and I have talked in detail on many occasions regarding a strategic crime prevention initiative and have implemented phases of this plan to enhance what we are already doing on campus.”
Metro PD’s North Precinct began patrol Friday night with three walking teams of two officers under the supervision of a sergeant. The officers provided coverage around the residence halls and the immediate inner campus area. This included the student courtyard where Thursday’s shooting occurred. The increased walking patrol with the North Precinct officers will continue until a definite timetable has been established. The precinct will provide Flex Teams to increase visibility starting next week.
“This additional display of manpower should send a clear message to those individuals not associated with TSU that the university and city of Nashville will not tolerate you coming onto our campus to commit crimes or behave in an unlawful manner,” President Glover said.
TSU continues to assist Metro with the investigation. The university has turned over four-mounted surveillance cameras in addition to a thumb drive with video footage from the courtyard and adjacent areas. Metro released a portion of that video that showed two gunmen firing weapons into an open area near the courtyard. NPD has erected a ‘Sky Cop’ camera until the cameras are returned and remounted.
“We are hopeful that the release of this video will encourage eyewitnesses to contact Metro Police via their tip hotline,” TSU Assistant Vice President of Public Relations and Communications Kelli Sharpe said. “The TSU Student Government Association organized a town hall meeting on Friday where they asked fellow students to be a part of the university’s crime prevention measures. This means coming forward with any information regarding this heinous crime and to report any suspicious or unlawful activity when they see it occurring. Like Metro, TSU has confidential systems in place to report suspicious activity before it escalates into something more.”
One of the biggest concerns for the university has been controlling and monitoring non-TSU student traffic coming onto campus, TSU officials said. Over the past year, $1 million was spent on surveillance cameras and equipment, lighting, IT and TSU PD personnel, mobile application technology, emergency notification equipment and transportation.
The university also erected a new physical barrier, a wrought iron fence, on the east side of campus that begins at Boyd Hall, a male residence, and ends at the Performing Arts Center.
“Reassuring students and parents that we are committed to their well-being is important,” President Glover said. “The university’s collaboration with Metro PD, along with our upgrades, helps us to fulfill that priority.”
Students are asked to install the TSU emergency app on all their mobile devices and program the TSUPD dispatch number in their phones. Any information regarding the campus shooting should be reported to Crimestoppers at 615-74CRIME.
There is a $6000 reward for information that leads to an arrest.