• UNCC police chief speaks exclusively to Channel 9 weeks after deadly shooting

    By: Allison Latos


    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The University of North Carolina at Charlotte's police chief sat down for an interview for the first time since the deadly shooting on campus last month.

    [FULL COVERAGE: UNCC tragedy]

    UNCC Police Chief Jeff Baker told Eyewitness News anchor Allison Latos that when he took over the department nine and a half years ago, his top priority was beefing up security and adding officers.

    To the average eye, the campus looks like a normal summer semester with fewer students roaming the ground, but none are attending classes inside the Kennedy building after a gunman opened fire on April 30, killing students Riley Howell and Reed Parlier.

    ['His sacrifice saved lives': Police say UNCC shooting victim fought gunman]

    Baker spent years preparing for the worst-case scenario that came true.

    He said in the three weeks since the shooting, he's already looking at what more can be done to protect everyone on campus.

    'We have to keep pushing ahead and keep our public universities safe," he said.

    In 2011, UNCC started programming every door on campus so that in an emergency, police could lock all 3,000 doors at once.

    [UNCC police chief: 'Our officers definitely saved lives']

    "This red button represents UNC Charlotte's main campus, all they do is push this button and it will lock all exterior doors on campus," said Baker.

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    Baker said the Charlotte campus is the only one in the UNC system with the lock technology, a security step that took years and costs millions.

    "It's somewhere between $1,500 and $3,000 a door, but I've got to say to have that capability, it is worthwhile," he said.

    The chief wants the ability to lock interior doors, even sections of buildings from anywhere, and more cameras on facility entrances and exits on campus.

    "I would like to see our abilities there if it's even the ability to recognize someone," he said.

    Baker told Channel 9 beefing up the department goes beyond barricades and surveillance.

    "The UNC Charlotte Police Department has this interview room and holding cell. Moments after the shooting suspect was arrested, he was brought here and handcuffed to this metal bench," said Baker.

    The room allowed police to isolate the suspect during the immediate investigation.

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