UNA Students Blame Communication Errors After Sexual Assault On Campus

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FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) - As new details emerge about last week's rape on the University of North Alabama's campus, students say communication errors start to surface.  The attack was never posted to the police department's website or Facebook page.  Now students say, when an alert was finally sent out - nearly two days after the attack, it was too late.

“We didn`t have a whole lot to send out on the alert and when we did find something out, it was about 15 hours later,” said UNA Police Chief, Bob Pastula.

Critics of the alert system say this gave the sexual predator time to attack again, without any warning to students.  However, even when students got a Lion Alert, they say the message didn't convey a sense of urgency.

“Whenever they did send the alert out, it was like, check out our webpage, “ said UNA freshman, Morgan Senn.  “I woulda much rather been able to know exactly what it was right then and there.  They didn't tell us exactly what happened.”

“An assault like that is something women need to know immediately and not wait until they get home and look on a computer and look for it,” added sophomore, Amber Denson.

Many students took their concerns into their own hands, logging on to social media sites to inform police and university officials about their safety concerns on campus. 

Chief Pastula agrees there needs to be additional cameras to help catch crime.

“I`ve been doing that for about the last month, I had some security companies here at the first part of September and they gave some estimates, so it`s kinda ironic that something like this would happen when we were in the middle of doing that,” said Pastula.

Detectives say they still have very few leads in this case.  They want anyone with information to call the university police department at 256-756-HELP.

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