The Leading Authority For Campus Public Safety

Association News

Statement on UNC Chapel Hill & Jacksonville, FL

August 30, 3034

It is with profound sorrow and a heavy heart that I address you today regarding yet another tragic incident that unfolded on a college campus. On Monday, UNC Chapel Hill experienced an unimaginable loss as Zijie Yan, an esteemed faculty member of UNC Chapel Hill university, was shot and killed by an alleged graduate student inside a laboratory. This devastating event forced the campus into lockdown as law enforcement worked diligently to ensure the safety of our students, faculty, and staff.

As we come to terms with yet another campus tragedy, let us remember in the face of this distressing incident, students, faculty, and staff swift response to the alert issued by UNC Chapel Hill Police and, their quick actions are a testament to the emergency preparedness of the UNC community. 

In the aftermath of this tragedy, it is natural for us to seek ways to prevent such violence from occurring in the future. As Leaders in campus law enforcement and public safety, we should emphasize to our campus communities the ways we can work together to address ways to mitigate campus violence and ensure the safety of our academic environment.
Let us support our colleagues at UNC Chapel Hill Police Department as they foster a safe and nurturing environment for all members of the UNC Chapel Hill campus community.

With heartfelt condolences,
Chief Paul H. Dean
IACLEA President


August 29, 2023

I am writing to you today with a heavy heart and a profound sense of sorrow. The recent hate-motivated shooting incident in Jacksonville, Florida has left us all shocked and devastated. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families, as well as the entire Jacksonville community. It is times like these that remind us of the importance of unity, compassion, and unwavering support for one another.

Prior to the tragic events that unfolded, it has come to light that the gunman had previously attempted to enter the campus of our neighboring historically Black institution, Edward Waters University. He was met with a firm refusal to identify himself by an on-campus security officer and was promptly asked to leave. The swift response of the campus safety & security officer and the university's campus safety protocols demonstrated their commitment to maintaining a safe environment for their students, staff, and visitors.

The individual chose to exit the campus peacefully and without further incident. This encounter was reported to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office by Edward Waters University campus safety & security, showcasing their dedication to not only the well-being of their own campus but also the broader community. It is a testament to the professionalism and vigilance of campus security personnel who work tirelessly to ensure the safety of our educational institutions.

Tragically, the situation escalated afterward, leading to a series of heartbreaking events. The suspect's actions at a nearby Dollar General store resulted in the loss of innocent lives and his own. It is a stark reminder that we must remain vigilant and proactive in identifying and addressing potential threats, as well as fostering a culture of inclusivity and tolerance.

As leaders in campus law enforcement and public safety, it is our collective responsibility to create and maintain an environment where everyone feels secure, valued, and respected. Incidents like this underscore the urgency of continuing to strengthen our security measures, review and update our emergency plans and enhance our collaboration with neighboring institutions, law enforcement agencies, and community organizations.

In the wake of this tragedy, let us come together as an association to support one another, to stand against hatred and violence, and to reaffirm our commitment to a safe and inclusive campus environment. We will continue to learn from each other, adapt our strategies, and engage in open dialogues that foster understanding and unity.

I encourage you all to reach out to one another, to offer a helping hand, a listening ear, and a shoulder to lean on. Let us honor the memories of those who were tragically lost by reaffirming our shared values and our determination to create a better, safer future for all.

Please know that the IACLEA Board of Directors and I are here for you, and we remain dedicated to providing support to campus law enforcement and public safety worldwide.

Fraternally yours,
Chief Paul H. Dean
IACLEA President


August 28, 2023

This afternoon, after several hours of lockdown at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the all-clear has been given following an active assailant incident on campus. Details are still coming in. IACLEA has been closely monitoring the situation that occurred today at UNC Chapel Hill, as well as the shooting in Jacksonville, Florida from over the weekend. We have been in communication with federal and school officials and stand ready to support UNC and Edward Waters University.

IACLEA remains ready to support in any way possible while our law enforcement and public safety officers navigate through these tragic and senseless acts. While we are still learning additional details from both incidents, we join those in the Jacksonville and Chapel Hill communities in mourning the loss of life that occurred. We thank the brave first responders who stand ready to run into the unknown, putting themselves in danger to save the lives of others. Our thoughts and prayers remain with the victims, their families, and communities during these challenging times.

Chief Paul H. Dean
IACLEA President

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