Rollins College Revamps Alert System After Campus Crimes


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Rollins College is making big changes to its security system following several crimes on the Winter Park campus. The school is updating its student alert system and installing emergency phones. But campus police haven’t added any surveillance cameras.

On Sept. 25, a Rollins College student was robbed and beaten outside a campus dorm during the day. A week earlier, a gunman fleeing deputies was caught hiding on campus. “It was really scary to think, because I mean, Rollins is in such a beautiful community,” Rollins student Ashley Jones said.

Ever since those incidents, school officials have been working to tighten up security.

On Wednesday, WFTV was the only news station there when a new rapid response alert system was tested for the vfirst time. It can be used for an emergency of any kind. In the alert testing scenario, a tornado had been spotted near campus and security needed to get the message to students quickly. With the click of a button, officials sent the message out. Less than a minute after the alert was sent, WFTV received the call on a cellphone. “That’s definitely more reassuring than the last system,” Jones said.

WFTV reported after the violent robbery that students complained they didn’t get alert messages for hours. The attackers were never caught. A composite sketch is all Winter Park police have had to go on because there are no security cameras on campus. “Why are there no cameras yet? We’re just assessing that right now. There’s a big cost involved in that,” Rollins public relations representative Lauren Bradley said.

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