UC Berkeley hires private security firm after fatal shooting near campus stirs safety concerns
Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín issued a statement condemning the shooting and expressing support for those who worked on the scene: “It is my hope that this tragedy will serve as an impetus for a greater and more thorough investigation with a quick and fair result,” he wrote. “If the information that was presented thus far is accurate, this is one of the most frightening and troubling cases of campus crime I have witnessed in many years, but I want to keep things in perspective.”
The university said the police had no choice but to enter the building that day, and that the university security forces were unable to control the situation.
“This is not the case and should not be a concern for the campus community,” said Berkeley College of Law President Matthew Salis.
Berkeley is still grappling with the aftermath of a campus shooting at the beginning of November that left one person dead and five injured near the school.
The shooting sparked a citywide debate on whether the campus was safe and whether private university security firm Yondr Security should have been hired.
A police escort and a heavy police presence accompanied the students to their cars, some of whom were forced to leave their cars in order to exit the campus. The campus was locked down, with students allowed to come and go only through the back exit to the main road.
After the students left the building, the company, which specializes in campus security, moved in and began conducting several interviews of students inside, UCB spokesperson Dan Mogulof said in an email late Tuesday.
Mogulof would not disclose further details about the nature of the interview or what it revealed.
A representative from Yondr would not comment on whether the organization would continue to work on campus following the shooting or whether the firm would be re-hired.
The University Police Department said Berkeley Police Chief Andrew Greenwood would be overseeing the investigation and that an internal investigation would be completed once it is completed.
HONORING OTHERS WITH THEIR SKIN
The university’s decision to hire the security firm was met with support from some students, many of whom said they would have supported the decision if they knew they would be at risk.