CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Thousands of UNC Charlotte students are back on campus after they moved in over the weekend.
It's an emotional return for many after the deadly shooting on campus back in April.
“We want to make sure that people feel comfortable coming back following our tragedy,” UNCC Police Chief Jeffrey Baker said.
The chancellor and campus police chief highlighted four key safety improvements since the shooting where students Reed Parlier and Riley Howell lost their lives.
UNC CHARLOTTE TRAGEDY FULL COVERAGE:
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- 'My superhero doesn't wear a cape': Riley Howell's loved ones say final goodbye
- Riley Howell's family reflects on impact UNCC student had on others
- Hundreds line streets as heroic UNCC students's body escorted home
- 'I want that to be his legacy': Heroic UNCC student tackled gunman
- UNCC alum, NFL player Larry Ogunjobi finds new hero in Riley Howell
- Slain UNCC student first citizen to receive CMPD Medal of Valor
- Classroom where gunman opened fire at UNCC will not be used next school year
- UNCC shooting survivor returns home from hospital
- Second student lauded for lifesaving actions during UNCC shooting
“In going through that and reflecting on that, it really is something that, you know personally I sit and think a lot about,” Baker said.
The upgrades include more police on campus, increased security for large events, and instructions in each classroom on how to lockdown, take shelter and evacuate.
The school also received an overwhelming response from students and parents about preparedness.
UNCC is now offering active shooter training to anyone who wants it.
So far hundreds of people have taken part.
The police department also just purchased electric assist bikes to help officers with their patrols. They can navigate over the campus steps, hills and can climb up to 30 mph.
Students on campus said the changes are welcome.
“The beacons around the school that have the emergency buttons are really helpful,” UNCC sophomore Demetrius Morten said.
Caroline Tiffany just moved in over the weekend, hundreds of miles from home.
“They have a lot of apps for our safety and they make sure we have all the safety numbers on the back of our IDs so it’s always with us,” Tiffany said.
Chief Baker said he feels confident his department is well-equipped. However, he’s also looking at adding a few more positions to his roster.
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