Safety & Security director confirms campus shooting was isolated incident

Cardinal & Cream

In the days after the death of Olivia Greenlee, senior music education major, the Office of Safety and Security has continued to look for ways to improve security on all Union University campuses.

Safety and Security found Greenlee dead in her vehicle in the parking lot behind Luther Hall, an auxiliary building adjacent to the main campus.

Since the incident, students and their parents have become concerned about safety.

Carson Hawkins, director of security, confirmed that this was an isolated event.

“When something like this happens, security moves to the forefront of everyone’s minds,” said Hawkins. “We continue on our path of constant evaluation and improvement. What has changed is the awareness of security.”

Hawkins said that improvements are continually considered.

“Every day, as a staff, whether it be through policy, procedures, or technology, we ask ourselves: ‘What can we do today to proactively make Union an even safer place?’”

In addition to the Office of Safety and Security, Hawkins said a campus safety committee exists that is comprised of faculty, staff and students.

Committee members review the state of the campus and make suggestions for improvements.

A regional campus safety committee also evaluates security measures for the Hendersonville and Germantown campuses, the Center for Continuing Studies and the Stephen Olford Center.

The Office of Safety and Security employs 21 people across Union’s campuses. At the Jackson campus, 14 officers work full-time schedules.

The office also has an open position for an assistant director.

The regional campus safety committee has been considering upgrading camera systems, prior to Greenlee’s death.

Hawkins said installing additional security cameras has continued to be discussed as Union continues to grow.

“Having a safe campus is a community affair,” Hawkins said. “Working together, we can see every nook and cranny on this campus if everyone’s eyes are focused on security.”

Hawkins also said that students who follow the rules outlined in the Campus Life Handbook regarding parking, guest visitation and curfew enable security officers to focus their attention and resources on crime prevention and other proactive measures.

Safety and Security also offers an escort program for students requesting transportation between buildings on campus at any time of day or night.

About Jacob Moore 11 Articles
Jacob Moore served for two years as photo editor for the Cardinal & Cream. Beginning in his sophomore year, he worked as a photographer for the Office of University Communications at Union. He also worked as a barista at Barefoots Joe during his senior year. While in college, he interned and worked with The Jackson Sun, mentored in the after-school program at Skyline Church of Christ and served on the leadership team for the 2013 Southeastern Journalism Conference. He was recognized with an Academic Excellence Medal for a major in advertising.