On Wednesday, July 6, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Police Department was notified about a potential bomb threat on campus. A false call was placed to Lafayette 911 at 11:10 a.m. regarding an unknown object in Martin Hall.
After receiving the call, the ULPD proceeded to evacuate Martin Hall, F.G. Mouton and Moody Hall. ULPD began to search the area for anything suspicious. Chitimacha Tribal Police assisted by bringing in an explosive police K-9. The ULPD also worked with the Lafayette Fire Department to investigate the threat.
After surveying the area the ULPD were unable to find anything. The bomb threat is still under investigation. No one has been arrested or charged.
According to Lieutenant Billy Abrams, there were similar phone calls placed on that day to seven other universities in the state that may be connected to the bomb threat here. They are still trying to determine if it was the same person but at this point, they are still not sure.
“We try to stay, as a police agency, prepared for no matter what happens on a daily basis,” Abrams said.
The ULPD’s mission is to provide a safe environment for the university so that whenever the call comes in they can gear into action and keep the community safe.
“That is what we did in this incident and that is what we will continue to do moving forward,” Abrams said.
The Emergency Notification System was used to notify faculty, staff and students by phone call, text message and email. The police department or other authorized personnel can activate and send a message using the ENS quickly to urge students to use caution.
“The ENS system is designed to provide immediate notification for emergencies on campus,” according to the UL Lafayette website.
Tiffany Richard, a sophomore majoring in electrical engineering, was on campus at the library when she received a message from the ENS about the bomb threat.
“I got a message from the alert system about it,“ Richard said.
Richard was surprised that an incident such as a bomb threat was happening at UL Lafayette and knew to stay away from the area. Richard felt like the ENS worked and successfully informed her about the situation.
Students should update any changes to their phone number or personal information on a regular basis in ULink to make sure that they are enrolled in the ENS and they can be notified in the case of an emergency.
The Office of Environmental Health & Safety is in charge of the safety of all faculty, staff, students and the community at UL Lafayette. The Departmental Safety Coordinators work diligently to ensure that the facilities are safe, procedures are up to date and the campus is equipped with emergency preparedness.
The procedures that are in place for emergencies like bomb threats are included in the Building Emergency Action Plan. There are building emergency evacuation maps posted in every building on campus. These plans show evacuation routes, fire extinguisher locations, emergency rescue locations and areas of assembly.
Faculty and staff are prepared in training to successfully guide students through emergency procedures. Faculty are trained through the Cornerstone System and Moodle training is available to students.
The Office of Environmental Health and Safety includes a resources center available to students on the UL Lafayette website with tips and suggestions to prepare students for possible emergencies.
It is recommended that students learn safety training such as the location of fire extinguishers, first aid training and active shooter training. Students should also make sure their ENS information is up to date, find evacuation plans in all buildings, prepare with training on Moodle and contact the ULPD or 911 in the case of an emergency.