Hampton University President Darrell K. Williams Has Released the Following Statement About Enhanced Security Measures on Campus

Hampton University President Darrell K. Williams Has Released the Following Statement About Enhanced Security Measures on Campus

Dear Hampton Family & Friends,

We look forward to welcoming alumni and guests for what will be a special Homecoming celebration.

President Darrell K. Williams and Mrs. Myra Richardson Williams

In light of recent tragic events that have occurred in and around our fellow HBCU campuses, in which our thoughts and prayers go out to all that were affected, we have implemented enhanced security protocols to ensure that our Homecoming weekend is as safe as possible.

Our Security Infrastructure

Upon my arrival in July 2022, I asked the Chief of Police to conduct a threat assessment to better understand our exposures and emergency response capabilities, and we have continued to build upon those findings. In fact, we have continuously invested in our security infrastructure. We have enhanced our security protocols, inclusive of the following:

1. Hampton University Police Department – Our first line of defense is our Hampton University police officers (HUPD) who are strategically positioned throughout our Home by the Sea, vigilantly canvassing 300-plus acres and monitoring over 100 buildings. They are, and will remain, on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We will increase the presence of police officers on campus with additional contracted security professionals. We will also increase the collaborative presence of municipal and state public safety partners, collectively dedicated to safeguarding against any potential incidents.

2. Weapons Detection System – We acquired a state-of-the-art ShotSpotter gunshot detection system that has been installed around campus. We are actively employing cutting-edge AI platforms that can identify concealed weapons through our existing camera network. These tools equip us to more accurately detect and respond to security threats. 3. Call Boxes – Nearly two dozen emergency call boxes stand guard along various pathways, poised to connect anyone in need directly to HUPD upon pressing the alert button. Each emergency phone is a metal box crowned with a luminescent blue light, clearly visible both day and night. To request emergency HUPD assistance, you need only to press the red button on any blue light phone, summoning HUPD to your location.

4. Security Cameras – More than 500 security cameras have been meticulously placed across campus, serving as formidable deterrents to criminal activity, and their recorded footage stands as a testament to our commitment to investigate any incidents when necessary.

5. LiveSafe App – The LiveSafe app ensures that you remain connected to emergency alerts and non-emergency notifications from the University. It also offers a two-way chat function, empowering you to promptly report any suspicious activity to HUPD. Please do not rely solely on social media posts for news and updates.

6. Pirate Notification System – HUPD has established the Pirate Notification System (PNS) to keep our community informed of any nearby emergency situations, including severe weather and traffic. It communicates via text, email, or phone call, ensuring that you are promptly apprised of any unfolding situations.

An Increased Investment

In 2022, Governor Youngkin authorized the Commonwealth of Virginia to allocate $1 million to help us increase our security profile and provide a secure and thriving environment for all who call Hampton their academic home. Your safety is our utmost priority, and together, we can ensure that Homecoming, and all our activities, remain joyous occasions for every member of our Hampton family.

Ways You Can Be Vigilant

While our location provides natural security barriers, we are prepared for any security and safety concerns. There are also actions you can take. Please review the following safety precautions, designed to help you mitigate your exposure to potential criminal activity during what is meant to be an enjoyable weekend.

1. Be Patient – We have meticulously prepared for your arrival next week. Homecoming will attract record crowds, disrupting normal parking and driving patterns. As you are driving on campus or waiting to gain entry to events, here are a few proactive steps to take to maintain a festive spirit:

  • Allow extra time to arrive on campus and enter the stadium on game day.
  • Encourage your visitors driving to campus to present their driver’s license at the guard station. Emphasize to passengers that this identification procedure is of equal significance to them.
  • Ensure that visitors check in at the front desk of residence halls as required.
  • Check your surroundings and rely on your instincts.
  • When venturing out after dark, travel with friends or call HUPD at 757-727-5300.
  • If you are celebrating Homecoming off-campus, do not hesitate to dial 911 in case of an emergency.

2. Be Responsible – We recognize the prevailing state of heightened alertness and have taken prudent security measures. These moments present an opportunity to bring our community closer and to make safer, informed personal decisions. We invite you to download the LiveSafe app. Please familiarize yourself with our clear bag policy and entrance procedures and notices about tailgating and game-day alcohol use. We invite you to join our efforts toward building an environment that is positive and enjoyable for all.

3. Be Responsive – Safety at Hampton University is a collective responsibility. Hamptonians safeguard the interests of fellow Hamptonians, and their guests. If you have information that requires an urgent response, please dial 757-727-5300 and request to speak with an officer or dial 911. Report all suspicious activities and vehicles to HUPD. You may also submit anonymous reports via the LiveSafe app. In situations demanding urgency, remember, “If you see something, say something” and do so with the utmost expediency.

We stand in solidarity with our fellow HBCU peers, steadfast in our mission to ensure a secure learning and living environment for all who enter our gates. Homecoming is an occasion to celebrate the essence of being a Pirate. With your cooperation, we can revel in this celebration safely, responsibly, and with profound respect for every member of our Hampton family.

We eagerly anticipate your return to your cherished Home by the Sea. Should you have any inquiries regarding Homecoming events, please do not hesitate to visit hamptonu.edu/homecoming.

President Darrell K. Williams