DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — North Carolina Central University’s chancellor Dr. Johnson O. Akinleye is calling for change in Durham following a double deadly shooting on campus near Saturday’s home football opener.
“We cannot close up our campus, our university, with iron fences and gates,” Akinleye said. “This press conference is a call to action, we are pleading with our city, county and state officials to commit to devoting more resources and attention to combating the issues of crime in Durham.”
Akinleye said the campus is safe, but there are more security measures he wants to see. He’s calling for more patrol officers in the area, something NCCU sophomore Ver’Nisha Patten agrees with.
“More patrol officers would be a great aspect, but they keep us pretty safe here,” Patten said. “They let us know what’s going on, send us emails.”
CBS 17 reached out to the Durham Police Department to see if devoting more patrol officers to the campus area is feasible. CBS 17 is are waiting to hear back.
Another security measure Akinleye wants to see is gunshot detection technology. Akinleye said N.C. Central asked the city to install the technology around the university.
Durham City Councilman Mark-Anthony Middleton presented a six-month free trial offer from ShotSpotter more than a year ago, but the council never voted on it.
“We believe that that would help in the identification of those who are committing these heinous crimes, and that yet is to be determined, we’re still working with the city on that,” Alinkleye said.
Brenda Howerton, chair of the Durham County Board of Commissioners, said the county is working with Bull City United to hire violence interrupters. She said three have been hired, but they’re looking for roughly 18 more.
“This is a special skill that they have to have to be able to do this kind of work, so it’s taking time to get them hired and get them trained,” Howerton said.
Howerton said the county is also working with Durham Tech and other institutions to help people develop job skills, an effort to address income inequality.
Akinleye said the university has spent more than $3 million in campus security upgrades including keycard entry to dorms, blue lights, and more than 900 security cameras on campus. He said one of those cameras was able to identify the car the suspect was driving, a black Nissan Altima.
Durham police are investigating the shooting.