On Oct. 5, 2015 at 2:25, Two NDNU Public Safety Officers were conducting a vehicle patrol when stopped by a NDNU student and was advised of a suspicious male. The student described the person wearing a black shirt with black camo shorts with a red bag under his arm. The student informed them that he has been seen on campus during the night wandering in the past.
The two men began a search of the campus and located the suspect walking down towards the Oaks building as they made contact. They covered one another and began to interview the person of interest. One officer asked the person what was the reason for their visit and for any type of I.D. The person of interest stated he had no I.D and was on campus looking to film a movie and add classes. During their questioning of his purpose on campus he provided a bank check with his name on it.
At this time the suspect seemed to be under the influence of something. For the safety of themselves and others, one of the Officers asked if they could look inside his backpack for any weapons, he refused his request. The suspect asked if he could look into taking classes here at NDNU and go to the Admission Department.
The two officers agreed to escort him to talk to someone in Admissions. Because the suspect could not produce a valid CA. I.D and would not allow them to search his belongs and they felt he was under the influence, one officer contacted Belmont PD. At 2:50 Belmont PD Officer Friedman came on scene and interred the Admissions Conference room #2 and began to question the suspect. One officer was not present during this interview however during this time the suspect’s property was searched.
Based on the findings and the behaviors of the suspect, BPD Officer Friedman issued a trespass order PC 602 to the suspect. At 3:35 BPD escorted the suspect off NDNU campus and the scene was all clear, according to the official report cleared by Head of Public Safety, Kenneth Blackwell, and the Two Officers in the official report. A copy of this trespass order was given to the Housing Department along with his photo.
In light of this incident, this reporter sat down with Blackwell to discuss whether or not NDNU should continue to be an open campus and if NDNU should establish a check in system for students. “Yes [NDNU should remain an open campus], NDNU is a part of the Belmont Community. They often come through the campus, and they enjoy being a part of campus- walking their dogs etc. They often see things and report it to my officers that they are not able to catch. I think as far as the community goes, we play an integral role in the education.”
Most universities have some sort of check in system for visitors but mainly for resident buildings, when this reporter asked Blackwell what his opinion on the necessity for such a system for NDNU- he was on board with the idea. “Yeah depending on whom they are here to see. Normally if they [visitors] require parking I am notified. For the resident halls I think it is valuable for non NDNU students who visit NDNU students, at least if something happens we will have a record of it.”
Like Blackwell mentioned above it is not uncommon for Belmont residents to be seen on campus for activities like walking their dogs, jogging, even using the library, since this is an open campus. However, what is important to note of here is that visitors must go through the proper channels of visitation in order to conduct their business on campus. Any violation of that is a threat to a student and staff’s personal safety. Given that this incident occurred less than a week after the Roseburg Oregon, while minor in nature, it is important to be aware of one’s surroundings.