Anger Over Delayed Alert

University of Hartford students received an alert about the robbery an hour and a half later

University of Hartford students are not happy with how public safety on campus responded to an armed robbery at the university's Park River Apartments Thursday.

Matther Parlapiano, who lives on the floor where the armed robbery happened, said he never received a message on his cell phone. 

As two people armed with a gun broke in and went after cell phones and laptops, rumors ran wild across campus.

The incident was reported just before 5:30 p.m. but the first alert didn't go out to students until 7 p.m.

Students said that is inexcusable since the school was in lock-down and rooms were being searched.

Public safety officials explained to students in a debriefing that they didn't send out text alerts earlier because they wanted to send only confirmed information.

University president Walter Harrison said he could not go into specific details of what occurred because it is under investigation but could go through the timeline.

“At approximately 5:25 p.m., when the two students walked into the Public Safety office to report the incident, we first ascertained that there were no injures to them or anyone else. Our public safety officers responded immediately to the residence hall to assess the situation and gather information. At approximately 5:30 p.m., Hartford and West Hartford police were called to campus to assist our public safety officers in searching the residence hall,” Harrison said.

Staff from Residential Life and Public Safety helped assist in keeping residents of Park River from walking to and entering the building and school officials thought the action was sufficient and decided not to lock down the rest of the campus. 

“To notify the community of the situation, the University then issued text and web messages at 7 p.m. At approximately 8 p.m. a message was sent that the residence hall was clear for students to enter,” Harrison said.

The University has procedures in place to address incidents like this, he said.

“As with all critical incidents, the University will conduct an after-action review to assess our response procedures. It will always be our hope, however, that we will not need to use the procedures for a situation like this one or anything more serious. I assure you that our foremost concern is always for the safety of our community.”

The people who broke in got away. It's still unclear if they had any connection to the university. 

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