Barton College ups campus security after attack
Posted January 14
Wilson, N.C. — Barton College is increasing security in response to an online petition and concern from students and parents after two serious crimes occurred on campus last fall.
On Nov. 24, a man forced a female Barton student into his car at gunpoint. Police said he drove her to another location and raped her and then drove to a bank, where he forced her to withdraw money from a teller machine.
Jodeci Raeshawn Brinkley, 20, of 408 Lee St. NE, has been charged in the case.
Days later, thieves ransacked several women's dorm rooms at the East Campus Suites.
"Any incident is too many," Barton President Norval Kneten said Tuesday.
Kneten said the school is making changes to make the campus safer. More police officers are patrolling more frequently, and six construction lights make the campus much brighter at night.
Some parents expressed concern, however, about timely emergency alerts. The alert for the kidnapping and sexual assault, for example, was issued 15 hours after the crime was reported.
Barton sends such alerts only when there's an imminent threat, Kneten said.
"Wilson police determined during that period of time with information they had that there was not an imminent threat to campus," he said.
"I think, sometimes, in the immediacy of things, students expect to get things as it happens," senior Rachel Moore said. "In reality, I don't know if that can happen, but I think that's the expectation."
Kneten said, in hindsight, he might have handled the alert in the kidnapping and assault case differently.
"You always would like to do things better," he said. "So, that's part of the conversation we're having with the Student Government Association. That's the conversation we're having with parents."