False Alarm On City Campus Sparks Change For Administration

Sean Browne, Editor in Chief

Pace security misidentified a student as a potential gunman at the Manhattan campus on September 14th.

Campus security was initially misinformed that the student was wearing a belt of gun ammunition. However, it was only a belt. As a result, Nicole Thompson, associate Vice President for Administration and Technology, decided that some changes need to be implemented.

In a statement released on Sept.29, Thompson expressed her disappointment with regards to how the situation was handled.

“The false alarm incident at One Pace Plaza on September 14 has raised many questions about campus security and emergency response,” Thompson said in her statement. “The length of time that elapsed before an eAlert message was sent to the University community was unacceptable, and we regret the decisions made that day that caused anxiety for many.”

Thompson announced that she will be leading a complete overhaul of security and safety process at Pace.

“I am leading the implementation of a phased plan to overhaul safety protocols, processes, and systems at Pace. Included in the plan are initiatives targeted for execution in the next 90 days, and longer-term initiatives to be implemented over the next 12 months,” she said. “This plan focuses on the restructuring of the security team, communications, safety protocols, and emergency education. We will be monitoring progress on the plan and publishing regular updates.”

Pace will be recruiting positions recently vacated, with enhanced qualifications and skills as well as well as implementing a multi-layered communication approach to mitigate the potential for single points of failure.

Thompson also wants to hear feedback from the Pace community, so they know how their new safety system is operating.

“I am assembling a safety advisory committee that will include members from faculty and staff councils from each campus, adjunct faculty members, and student government representatives,” Thompson said. “The purpose of the committee is to foster input into the plan and improve engagement in safety education at Pace.”

Thompson will also provide enhanced opportunities and training as well as online safety problems.

However, Pace has already taken action since the false alarm. Two security officers, Thomas Tresselt, Associate Director of Safety and Security, and Andrew McDonagh, Emergency Manager have departed from Pace.

Their departure was in relation to the false alarm on the Manhattan campus, according to Vincent Beatty, Executive Director of Safety and Security.