University of Arizona Student Death Prompts Focus on Campus Security
- By Matt Jones
- February 23, 2021
On Saturday, Feb. 20, a University of Arizona student was shot and killed in an on-campus parking garage. The Tucson Police Department is currently investigating the death as a homicide. As students returned to campus on Monday, their attention turned to how campus security and safety measures could prevent another similar incident.
A petition to add security cameras to every floor of the parking garage in question, instead of just at the entrance, had gathered more than 8,000 signatures as of Monday. The creator of the petition has since closed it down, but the topic remains on students’ minds.
“You can tell everyone feels a little uneasy today,” said University of Arizona senior Tara Garcia. “It shocked me that something so awful could happen. A lot of people are kind of feeling shook and wanting some change. I know there’s a petition going around saying that people want security cameras in the garage, so people do want action and want to see some change.”
When asked for comment, the university told KOLD News, “While we believe this is an isolated incident, UAPD has increased visible patrols on campus as a precautionary measure. We have cameras across campus, some of which are more prominent and conspicuous, and others less so. For security reasons, we don’t reveal the locations of these cameras. Moreover, we are consistently evaluating our security protocols involving the use of cameras, while being sensitive to the privacy concerns of our campus community.”
A state-run COVID-19 vaccine pod stands just “a few steps away” from where the death occurred. According to UA Chief of Police Brian Seastone, “We have officers who are working that—the pod—and have been since day one. We’ll also have increased patrols on campus and in that area.”
In addition to the increased patrols, Seastone offered a message of support to the university community: “We want to reassure folks that campus security and safety is our number-one priority,” he said.