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Thread: UMW President places "man with a gun" test call

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    From the Free Lance-Star website.

    TFred



    UMW president tests campus security

    October 23, 2009 12:58 pm

    BY JEFF BRANSCOME

    University of Mary Washington President Judy Hample recently faked an emergency call to campus police, but a college spokesman said officials should have known it was part of a safety exercise.

    During a campus safety walk late last month, Hample used an emergency system--called a blue light phone--to tell a dispatcher that somebody was preventing her from entering her vehicle in UMW's parking garage, a spokesman said. She identified herself as Judy Hample but didn't say it was a test.

    Two students who witnessed the incident said Hample's voice grew more and more panicked. At one point, she told the dispatcher that the man may have a gun and urged police to hurry.

    Police responded on foot and in cruisers with sirens on.

    The Bullet, UMW's student-run newspaper, first reported the incident. It's against the law to file a false report to police, but UMW spokesman Torre Meringolo stressed that Hample's call was part of an official school exercise.

    He said Hample is not at fault for what he called a "failure in some internal communication." He said she informed "key individuals" of her plan to test emergency response systems.

    "This is one of the things that happens on the campus safety walk," Meringolo said. "Everything that has to do with campus security is tested and observed."

    UMW's safety walks focus on student concerns such as broken pathways and unlit areas on campus.

    Meringolo said Assistant Vice President for Public Safety Susan Knick had tested the blue light system during a previous safety walk, but the dispatcher "failed to respond." Campus police should have been aware of "the real potential for another test of the system" on Sept. 30, he said.

    UMW sophomore James Sennett, who helped organize last month's safety exercise, said that in the earlier test Knick identified herself to the dispatcher and told him what she was doing. She asked the operator to confirm which blue light phone she was using, but he couldn't.

    Police are supposed to be able to tell which phone is being used.

    During last month's safety walk, Sennett said, Hample asked if she could test the blue light system after discussing some of its previous shortcomings with students. He said he wasn't expecting her to role-play, but he's glad she did.

    "If they knew that there was going to be a test call they would've been ready for it," he said. "That's not what's going to happen when there's an actual emergency."

    However, Mark Sandor, UMW's executive director of police and security services, told The Bullet: "This caused a serious risky potential hazard to the campus community. We responded as a real emergency."

    Efforts to reach him Wednesday and yesterday were unsuccessful. Knick also could not be reached for comment.

    In a statement, Hample said: "As president of the university, I am ultimately responsible for the safety and welfare of our campuses." She said she was testing the blue light system in her "official capacity."

    Hample plans to form a presidential task force to review emergency response systems. Police responded to her call in six minutes, but she sees room for improvement, Meringolo said.

    He said she has made campus security a priority.

    "When something is a priority for her, even if it means ruffling some feathers, she's going to do it," he said.

    Jeff Branscome: 540/374-5402
    Email: jbranscome@freelancestar.com

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    Regular Member Repeater's Avatar
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    TFred wrote:
    From the Free Lance-Star website.

    TFred



    UMW president tests campus security

    October 23, 2009 12:58 pm

    BY JEFF BRANSCOME

    University of Mary Washington President Judy Hample recently faked an emergency call to campus police, but a college spokesman said officials should have known it was part of a safety exercise.

    During a campus safety walk late last month, Hample used an emergency system--called a blue light phone--to tell a dispatcher that somebody was preventing her from entering her vehicle in UMW's parking garage, a spokesman said. She identified herself as Judy Hample but didn't say it was a test.
    Then President Hample is guilty of a misdemeanor and ought to be arrested and prosecuted.

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    Regular Member Harper1227's Avatar
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    TFred wrote:
    From the Free Lance-Star website.

    TFred



    UMW president tests campus security

    October 23, 2009 12:58 pm

    <snip>

    The Bullet, UMW's student-run newspaper, first reported the incident. It's against the law to file a false report to police, but UMW spokesman Torre Meringolo stressed that Hample's call was part of an official school exercise.

    He said Hample is not at fault for what he called a "failure in some internal communication." He said she informed "key individuals" of her plan to test emergency response systems.

    "This is one of the things that happens on the campus safety walk," Meringolo said. "Everything that has to do with campus security is tested and observed."


    <snip>Police responded to her call in six minutes, but she sees room for improvement, Meringolo said.

    He said she has made campus security a priority.

    "When something is a priority for her, even if it means ruffling some feathers, she's going to do it," he said.

    Jeff Branscome: 540/374-5402
    Email: jbranscome@freelancestar.com
    two things.

    Bullet? anyone else see irony there?

    6 minutes? oh boy! i mean you cant get there any faster then it takes to drive there , but how much damage can be done in 6 minutes?

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    Regular Member Thundar's Avatar
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    When seconds count, 6 minutes.
    He wore his gun outside his pants for all the honest world to see. Pancho & Lefty

    The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us....There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! ...The war is inevitableand let it come! I repeat it, Sir, let it come . PATRICK HENRY speech 1776

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    This seems to be not just illegal, but one of the dumbest things I can think of doing. It sureis the perfect way to end up with a half-dozen loaded guns pointed in your direction.

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    Regular Member MSC 45ACP's Avatar
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    If there had been an OCer within a block of her, they may have had a REAL problem.
    "If I know that I am headed for a fight, I want something larger with more power, preferably crew-served.
    However, like most of us, as I go through my daily life, I carry something a bit more compact, with a lot less power."
    (unknown 'gun~writer')

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    "Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not." ~Thomas Jefferson
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    Thundar wrote:
    When seconds count, 6 minutes.
    If the bullet takes six minutes to get to you, why don't you just step aside? Who needs a gun on a college campus?

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    MSC 45ACP wrote:
    If there had been an OCer within a block of her, they may have had a REAL problem.
    That's a very good point... Parking garages are notoriously close to (adjacent in fact) public streets, where even in their own minds, college officials can't ban the open carry of handguns.

    If an open carrier had been walking along the street near there they would likely have been assaulted with deadly weapons, and possibly quite worse.

    TFred


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    There are still places using those blue light phones?

    I graduated college in 1985. When I was a junior, we had a short lived experiment with such phones, where women students arriving back at their dorms after the doors were locked could use such a phone to summon campus police to let her in.

    It didn't take long before they earned the nickname of "rape-me lights", and the program quietly ended.


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    Regular Member buster81's Avatar
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    TFred wrote:
    In a statement, Hample said: "As president of the university, I am ultimately responsible for the safety and welfare of our campuses." She said she was testing the blue light system in her "official capacity."
    I hope the next victim on campus features this statement in their lawsuit.

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    More from the University newspaper. My question is, why is this charge/no charge decision up to the police? Why not the Fredericksburg Commonwealth's Attorney?

    Seeing that there is an election for the Fredericksburg CA position in just a couple weeks, that might make for a very interesting question...

    At the very minimum, a situation that puts anybody in a position to decide whether or not to charge their boss with a crime does not pass the smell test.

    TFred

    Hample Will Not be Charged in Safety Walk False Report

    October 21, 2009
    Tess Buccigrosso/Bullet

    University of Mary Washington police said they have decided not to charge President Judy Hample for posing as a student being attacked during the annual Safety Walk on Sept. 30.

    When Hample pressed the “blue light” button during a regular Safety Walk around campus, the University Police did not have any prior knowledge of the test. As a result, according police records, Hample technically filed a “false report,” which violates the Code of Virginia 18.2-461.

    “As President of the University, I am ultimately responsible for the safety and welfare of our campuses,” Hample said in a statement to the Bullet. “In my official capacity, I was testing the blue light system, which had failed in a previous safety walk.”

    The University Police decided not to charge the president, according to police records.

    “This caused a serious risky potential hazard to the campus community,” Executive Director of Police and Security Services Mark Sandor said. “We responded as a real emergency.”

    On the Wednesday evening that Hample did the safety test, police, thinking the call was real, sent two cars to the area.

    Police units on College Avenue went 45 mph in opposite [traffic] lanes,” Sandor said.

    [College Avenue is a narrow, two lane street with curb parking in both directions, and many students crossing at unregulated intersections. - TFred]

    Meanwhile, police “were engaging in a controlled sweep of the area on foot and by vehicle,” said Susan Knick, assistant vice president for public safety and community support services.

    “We would have taken [the assailant] down at gunpoint,” Sandor said.

    As reported in the Bullet on Oct. 8, police took about six minutes to arrive when President Hample tested the blue light, pretending to be a student being harassed by a strange man.

    Knick warned against “testing” the blue lights on campus when there isn’t an emergency. The six minutes were from the time Hample pressed the button to the moment an officer arrived.

    “It is a Class 1 Misdemeanor offense in Virginia to falsely summon or give false reports to law-enforcement officials,” she said.

    “Public safety should not be jeopardized,” Sandor said.

    After meeting with Knick and the dispatcher who answered the blue light call during the test, Hample said she plans to form a presidential task force to review emergency response systems and procedures.

    —compiled by Bullet staff reporters.

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    Here's a novel idea to improve campus security. Allow lawful carrying of handguns on campus.

    Duuuh

    And to think idiots like this woman are in charge of institutions of higher learning.

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    Regular Member MSC 45ACP's Avatar
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    KBCraig wrote:
    There are still places using those blue light phones?

    I graduated college in 1985. When I was a junior, we had a short lived experiment with such phones, where women students arriving back at their dorms after the doors were locked could use such a phone to summon campus police to let her in.

    It didn't take long before they earned the nickname of "rape-me lights", and the program quietly ended.
    Those "Blue Light Phones" are in a LOT of places. Christopher Newport has them all over the place. I saw them when we went on a tour of the campus. I CC'd rather than OC because I didn't want to be asked to leave and I didn't want to upset the sheeple.

    They certainly need to pass OC on campus SOON becuase my firstborn daughter goes to college next year...
    "If I know that I am headed for a fight, I want something larger with more power, preferably crew-served.
    However, like most of us, as I go through my daily life, I carry something a bit more compact, with a lot less power."
    (unknown 'gun~writer')

    Remington 1911 R1 (Back to Basics)
    SERPA retention or concealed...

    "Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not." ~Thomas Jefferson
    (Borrowed from "The Perfect Day" by LTC Dave Grossman)

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    The "Executive Director for Campus Security" is the President of the University. The chief of the campus police is an employee of the university and reports to the president. If she wants to jerk him around to make him do his job, that's her prerogative; if he doesn't like it, perhaps he should find other employment.
    Daniel L. Hawes - 540 347 2430 - HTTP://www.VirginiaLegalDefense.com

    By the way, nothing I say on this website as "user" should be taken as either advertising for attorney services or legal advice, merely personal opinion. Everyone having a question regarding the application of law to the facts of their situation should seek the advice of an attorney competent in the subject matter of the issues presented and licensed to practice in the relevant state.

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    user wrote:
    The "Executive Director for Campus Security" is the President of the University. The chief of the campus police is an employee of the university and reports to the president. If she wants to jerk him around to make him do his job, that's her prerogative; if he doesn't like it, perhaps he should find other employment.
    So while you're weighing in... did she commit a crime (as per earlier post from Reapeater), and if so, how can her "employee" be expected to responsible for the correct decision on whether or not to charge her with the crime?

    Why is this not in the hands of the local Commonwealth's Attorney? The UMW police and the Fredericksburg police work closely together on some issues, they certainly could (and would have) been involved if this were a real situation.

    TFred


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    Hmmmmm,,,,,, so i guess this is the < emergency come out and make a report/investigation after the crimesystem >.

    As was mentioned when seconds count - 6 minutes.

    Lou

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    TFred wrote:
    user wrote:
    The "Executive Director for Campus Security" is the President of the University. The chief of the campus police is an employee of the university and reports to the president. If she wants to jerk him around to make him do his job, that's her prerogative; if he doesn't like it, perhaps he should find other employment.
    So while you're weighing in... did she commit a crime (as per earlier post from Reapeater), and if so, how can her "employee" be expected to responsible for the correct decision on whether or not to charge her with the crime?

    Why is this not in the hands of the local Commonwealth's Attorney?* The UMW police and the Fredericksburg police work closely together on some issues, they certainly could (and would have) been involved if this were a real situation.

    TFred
    No, it's not a crime, it's a drill. It's not illegal for the principals of schools to set off the fire alarm for fire drills. Same thing. Poorly thought out, perhaps, but on the other hand, if she'd told the campus cops first, then it wouldn't have resulted in valid information. The F'burg police do have jurisdiction on campus, as do the state police, so it might have been a good idea to co-ordinate her drill with one of those agencies. But the single most important thing she might have done prior to engaging in her test would have been to get the Board of Governors in the loop, at least informally.

    The Commonwealth's Attorney certainly could conduct an investigation and bring the matter before a grand jury for possible indictment. But as a practical matter, they don't initiate investigations, and rely on the police for that. For that matter, any interested citizen with personal knowledge of the facts could go to the magistrate and swear out a warrant.
    Daniel L. Hawes - 540 347 2430 - HTTP://www.VirginiaLegalDefense.com

    By the way, nothing I say on this website as "user" should be taken as either advertising for attorney services or legal advice, merely personal opinion. Everyone having a question regarding the application of law to the facts of their situation should seek the advice of an attorney competent in the subject matter of the issues presented and licensed to practice in the relevant state.

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    Regular Member buster81's Avatar
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    user wrote:
    TFred wrote:
    user wrote:
    The "Executive Director for Campus Security" is the President of the University. The chief of the campus police is an employee of the university and reports to the president. If she wants to jerk him around to make him do his job, that's her prerogative; if he doesn't like it, perhaps he should find other employment.
    So while you're weighing in... did she commit a crime (as per earlier post from Reapeater), and if so, how can her "employee" be expected to responsible for the correct decision on whether or not to charge her with the crime?

    Why is this not in the hands of the local Commonwealth's Attorney? The UMW police and the Fredericksburg police work closely together on some issues, they certainly could (and would have) been involved if this were a real situation.

    TFred
    No, it's not a crime, it's a drill. It's not illegal for the principals of schools to set off the fire alarm for fire drills. Same thing. Poorly thought out, perhaps, but on the other hand, if she'd told the campus cops first, then it wouldn't have resulted in valid information. The F'burg police do have jurisdiction on campus, as do the state police, so it might have been a good idea to co-ordinate her drill with one of those agencies. But the single most important thing she might have done prior to engaging in her test would have been to get the Board of Governors in the loop, at least informally.

    The Commonwealth's Attorney certainly could conduct an investigation and bring the matter before a grand jury for possible indictment. But as a practical matter, they don't initiate investigations, and rely on the police for that. For that matter, any interested citizen with personal knowledge of the facts could go to the magistrate and swear out a warrant.
    Don't the adminstrators conducting fire drills tell the fire department becore they mobilize and show up with lights and sirens? Just a question.

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    Regular Member wylde007's Avatar
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    buster81 wrote:
    Don't the adminstrators conducting fire drills tell the fire department becore they mobilize and show up with lights and sirens? Just a question.
    Haven't you already been told enough times to stop making sense when you post?
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    The question, as I understood it, was not whether or not the university president exhibited the finest in judgment; the question was whether she had committed a crime.
    Daniel L. Hawes - 540 347 2430 - HTTP://www.VirginiaLegalDefense.com

    By the way, nothing I say on this website as "user" should be taken as either advertising for attorney services or legal advice, merely personal opinion. Everyone having a question regarding the application of law to the facts of their situation should seek the advice of an attorney competent in the subject matter of the issues presented and licensed to practice in the relevant state.

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    buster81 wrote:
    Don't the adminstrators conducting fire drills tell the fire department becore they mobilize and show up with lights and sirens? Just a question.
    user wrote:
    The question, as I understood it, was not whether or not the university president exhibited the finest in judgment; the question was whether she had committed a crime.
    I think buster's point was that the difference between criminal and non-criminal "pulling a false alarm" is or should be based on whether or not you take steps to prevent the Emergency Services from responding in a manner that would endanger others, and that certainly seems reasonable to me.

    However, reading the law that Repeater cited above, I'm not sure it would be a slam dunk guilty verdict... although a violation of section (i) seems pretty clear from the reports that have been published in the newspaper articles.

    § 18.2-461. Falsely summoning or giving false reports to law-enforcement officials.

    It shall be unlawful for any person (i) to knowingly give a false report as to the commission of any crime to any law-enforcement official with intent to mislead, or (ii) without just cause and with intent to interfere with the operations of any law-enforcement official, to call or summon any law-enforcement official by telephone or other means, including engagement or activation of an automatic emergency alarm. Violation of the provisions of this section shall be punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor.
    TFred


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    Once again it proves that the police are not there to protect the individual......

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    The thing is, the president of the university IS law enforcement, the same way a mayor in a city is. So proof of specific intent to mislead law enforcment beyond a reasonable doubt is just not possible. And this is a specific intent offense, not a general intent offense.

    Well if anyone charges her with a crime, I hope she calls me for the defense. I think that one would be fun.
    Daniel L. Hawes - 540 347 2430 - HTTP://www.VirginiaLegalDefense.com

    By the way, nothing I say on this website as "user" should be taken as either advertising for attorney services or legal advice, merely personal opinion. Everyone having a question regarding the application of law to the facts of their situation should seek the advice of an attorney competent in the subject matter of the issues presented and licensed to practice in the relevant state.

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    user wrote:
    The thing is, the president of the university IS law enforcement, the same way a mayor in a city is. So proof of specific intent to mislead law enforcment beyond a reasonable doubt is just not possible. And this is a specific intent offense, not a general intent offense.

    Well if anyone charges her with a crime, I hope she calls me for the defense. I think that one would be fun.
    I see your point, and I'm not disagreeing with you, but somehow, whether it is or not, it should not be legal for one to be the cause of squad cars responding at dangerous driving speeds (reported to be 45 in a 25 zone) through a very crowded residential neighborhood, placing severe risk to life and property of city residents.

    If nothing else, it should be wreckless use of resources... Not that that is a specific crime... I suppose if someone had been injured or killed in the response, the civil liability would have been different... or maybe not... does "testing" police response fall under qualified immunity?

    TFred


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    KBCraig wrote:
    There are still places using those blue light phones?
    JMU, another anti-defense college.

    Most of the ones I've ever seen were vandalized, though. :quirky
    Why open carry? Because 1911 > 911.

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