• UNF students, parents say possible campus threat alert came an hour late

    By: Russell Colburn , Action News Jax

    Updated:

    There are concerns over UNF’s emergency notification system after several students and parents tell Action News Jax they didn’t hear about a potentially armed person on-campus for more than an hour after police responded

    Ultimately, no threat was found, but a UNF spokesperson said they will be reviewing their alert system.

    Police responded to a call that a person was armed in the Arena Garage Monday afternoon.

    “It’s pretty scary to be honest,” said student Almir Kurtanrvic.  “I’ve never had this happen to me.”

    “That’s pretty insane to hear that’s going on on-campus right here,” student Cloe Lemaire added.

    UNF gave the all-clear around 7:30 p.m. Monday, but what's not clear is if the system the university relies on to notify students worked.

    “We’ve been reporting on this since about 6 o’clock. Multiple people tell us they didn’t get the alert until 7 or after. How do you explain that?” Action News Jax reporter Russell Colburn asked UNF spokesperson Sharon Ashton.

    “The alert went out at about 6:12 via email and then very quickly we followed up with a text message and phone call,” Ashton said.

    Several students and parents say they received that an hour late.

    Ashton said the campus may have experienced a technical difficulty.

    “[Is this] something you need to look at?” Colburn asked.

    “Yes, we always look at ways that we can improve our response to the crisis, including crisis communication, yes,” Ashton said.

    Student Raymond Ablan said the only alert he received came after the all-clear.  He said he did receive two phone calls.

    “One at 7:34 and one at 7:04,” Ablan said.

    “Sounds like the notification was at least 30 minutes late then?” Colburn asked.

    “No, it was,” Ablan said.  “If we’re all going to get this notification 30 minutes late, it makes no sense.”

    About two weeks ago, UNF tested its alert system.

    On that same day, they also notified students and staff that they were having network issues with their email.

    Action News Jax will stay on this to see if that played a role, and if they'll make any changes.

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