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A student carrying a portable light stand caused the gun scare on the West Conn westside campus last month.  Spokesman Paul Steinmetz says campus police reviewed security images and saw someone entering a building with the light stand. A student later carried the same piece of equipment past a classroom. A student in that classroom called 911.

College President John Clark said he was “greatly relieved” by the report but urged the campus community to remain vigilant and report suspicious activity.

Steinmetz says everyone must follow a simple rule for safety and security. If you see a suspicious person or activity and even have a doubt, call police.  But they are making some changes.  They're trying to figure out a bright colored bag that the equipment can be enclosed in before students walk out of a room, through hallways or around campus so it's very difficult to mistake for a gun or other weapon.

Steinmetz says the old axiom, better be safe than sorry certainly applies here.

While this incident did not involve an actual gunman, Clark said the University is determined to implement a number of improvements to campus security based on the recommendation the administration has received from faculty, staff and students.

Campus police have increased foot patrols in the Visual and Performing Arts Center, Counseling Center staff has provided additional support and outreach to the campus community and several hundred more people have signed up to receive notices through the campus emergency notification system. Changes to infrastructure of the center are being considered to improve communication within the building as well as access controls. Additional training for all members of the campus community is also being developed.

An assessment of the entire incident is being conducted, which will result in recommendations to cover the range of possible emergency situations that may arise on either WCSU campus.

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Dave Rinelli
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