The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Sunday June 4th

Letter: Alert Carolina is doing its best


In response to the article appearing Wednesday, Jan. 16 (“Behind the Alert: One student’s assault and Alert Carolina’s response), we would like to further clarify how the Alert Carolina system works to keep our campus safe. 

The primary consideration in writing and sending any Alert Carolina message is always the safety of the University community.  

We always aim to send a message as quickly as possible but must balance this goal with the need to ensure that our information is accurate. 

“Timely Warnings,” like the one sent to the campus in the wake of a strong-arm robbery in December, are only sent once responding officers are able to arrive at the scene and speak thoroughly with victims and witnesses to confirm facts.  

Police officers gather information as quickly and accurately as possible to ensure that any message contains enough information for the campus to enhance their safety or aid in an investigation.  

While this process may delay a message by a few minutes, it is critical to ensure that we are accurate.

Additionally, all messages must be written in accordance with the federal Clery Act

Often, it is necessary to omit certain details because sharing them may impede an investigation. Again, all of these measures speak to our priority of keeping the campus safe. 

Our public safety team is constantly reviewing the Alert Carolina system to ensure we are operating as effectively as possible and using all available technologies.  

For example, we have expedited the issuance of “Emergency Warnings,” using a new one-button system, which in recent campus tests, has completed message deliveries to the entire campus community in as few as three to-four minutes.  

Still, we welcome input on how to better serve the University. Please email with your ideas, questions, and concerns, understanding that our goals are the same — a safe and welcoming campus at UNC.

Randy Young

UNC Media Relations

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