Following multiple campus shootings during Grambling State University Homecoming Week 2021 that left two dead and several non-students injured, many students, alumni and supporters called for effective ways to prevent violence army on campus.
With Homecoming 2022 less than a week away, GSU President Rick Gallot and University Police Chief Rod Demery believe the university is much better prepared to provide security during this year’s festivities.
Gallot said there were a lot of lessons learned from the past year and believes the university is in a better position, with the addition of Demery as university police chief and partnerships with law enforcement agencies. state and local law enforcement, such as the US Department of Homeland Security. , Louisiana State Police, Louisiana National Guard, and Lincoln Parish Sheriff’s Department. Twelve or 13 other agencies will also support the university not only in this year’s homecoming activities, but also in ongoing activities throughout the academic year.
Campus violence interrupts Homecoming 2021
Two separate early morning shootings on the Grambling campus left two dead in 2021 and eight injured.
The first occurred at 1:08 a.m. on October 13, killing one person and injuring another in an unauthorized event near the university’s Favrot Student Union. The suspect has been identified as Jatavious Carroll, 18, from Delhi, who has been charged with attempted second degree murder and possession of a firearm/weapon on school property.
The university canceled the remaining events scheduled to commemorate the homecoming after the second campus shooting at 1:15 a.m. on October 17. This incident left one dead and seven injured. The suspects have been identified as Ahmad Green and Zyheim Butler, 19, from Bastrop. Both have been charged with first degree murder and attempted first degree murder.
Gallot said there appears to be a connection between the time and the shots. However, Gallot said one thing alumni, students and supporters will see differently this year is that the campus will be closed.
“I mean there will be no opportunity for people on the outside who intend to do harm…to do harm,” Gallot said. “They won’t be allowed on campus during those hours of the night.”
The University Police Department changes policing practices and patrolling methods, such as how officers are positioned, their response teams, their approach to different areas of campus, and more.
“I can’t reveal many of our tactics, but I can assure you things will change on the patrol and cover side,” Demery said. “The other thing is our surveillance side. We’re adding more video surveillance, whether it’s drone or full camera or whatever.
“We’re going to be bringing out plainclothes officers… officers that people won’t know they’re police, but it’s supposed to be that way so we can tackle situations that we otherwise wouldn’t have been able to tackle before being (detected) So our policing methods are changing a bit from what they were last year.
Demery said he studied last year’s plan and saw ways to make improvements tactically.
“Our officers have different missions,” Demery said. “We’re doing what’s called a redeployment…it’s sending all the officers out, bringing them back and giving them a new assignment and sending them back. So I think there will be a level of policing like there is. has been in the past.”
Another resource for preventing further occurrences of violence includes the G-Safe mobile app. The app is available for download on Google Play and Apple’s App Store. According to Gallot, the app allows students to report suspicious activity anonymously. The information will be forwarded to law enforcement.
“We’re not just strengthening our law enforcement partners,” Gallot said. “We empower our students and anyone else who wants to download the app to help us keep the campus community safe.”
Gallot said he heard from former students who were unhappy with the safety changes for this year’s homecoming, but who support Demery and his law enforcement partners in their recommendations to ensure safety. of the University.
“The fact that some people are upset with some of the changes I think means that we have made significant changes to our modus operandi for this year and we believe that will lead to a safe return home for everyone. “, said Gallot.
GSU Homecoming Week is scheduled for Oct. 31-Nov. 4, with the Grambling Tigers taking on the Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Tigers at Eddie G. Robinson Stadium at 2 p.m. on Nov. 5.
For more information on the GSU Homecoming, visit gram.edu/homecoming.