Local News

HACC officials looking at security after kidnapping

Security officials at Harrisburg Area Community College are taking a closer at campus safety after a man abducted a woman in the middle of class Wednesday night.

It’s the second abduction on campus this school year. In November, Clarence Shaffer admitted to picking a female student a random and forcing her into his car at gunpoint.

This time, police say Julian Amway forced his girlfriend out of her classroom Wednesday, threatening to kill her before police caught up with them a couple hours later. Police say she suffered some minor injuries.

“We are a safe campus. It’s unfortunate that this incident happened. Crimes happen everywhere in this country, and this one landed right on our front doorstep,” said Ian Parchen, assistant director of public safety at HACC.

Parchen said each building is equipped with security cameras inside. Since last fall’s kidnapping, he said security supervisors are working every shift and manpower is roughly the same on each shift.

During Wednesday’s alleged kidnapping, Parchen said several people tried calling campus security. The influx of calls overwhelmed the system, leaving some to be sent to a voicemail.

“They were smart enough to go ahead and call 911 right away and get the information out that way. And, that is something that we’re looking at in the future and how we can alleviate that bottleneck,” said Parchen.

Parchen said all classrooms are supposed to equipped with locks. Some students told FOX43 their rooms were not, which Parchen said will be addressed.

The college sent text alerts to students and others in the community notifying them the campus was going into lockdown. Students in classrooms were advised to remain there, while others were told to leave campus.

“I did feel pretty good that they send text messages right away. That’s pretty quick,” said Juan Diaz, a second-year student.

Some students said they’ve noticed an increased security presence since last fall’s kidnapping but would still like to see that increased.

“Security’s OK during the day, but I think we might need to up it a little more during the night, especially until all the kids are gone,” said Amanda Blose.

No other students were injured during Wednesday’s incident.

A magisterial district judge set Amway’s bond at $500,000. He remains in the Dauphin County Prison until a preliminary hearing Feb. 22.

 

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