Globe’s Point: We need better and faster communication from campus police

Welcome back from Thanksgiving break, Pioneers! We hope everyone had a restful time, whether you went home or stayed in the area, and are a little more charged to get through these last few weeks before finals. However, there is something we need to address that occurred right before break.


On Nov. 17, the Thursday before break, some received a text from the campus police department at 12:28 p.m. saying: “There was a shooting on 4th and Smithfield Street. Actor is a black male wearing a black hoodie and grey pants and a tan hat.” In a separate text a few minutes later, it was said that “the individual has not been arrested at this time. Please avoid the area.”


Police responded to the intersection around 12:10 p.m., according to the Tribune Review. The campus police text alert was sent a whole 18 minutes after the incident. A whole 18 minutes that students were around the area, not knowing what was going on. Most had no clue that this was even happening, as the message was sent through PointAlert, a text system that is not that well advertised and not the most reliable. You can sign up for text alerts at


Students and faculty did receive an email at 1:16 p.m. stating that “the individual has not been arrested in the shooting on 4th and Smithfield earlier today.” There were no further messages about the incident. 


We are not saying that a text should have been sent out right after the incident occurred, but since our campus is right next to this area, we think that it is fair to assume the campus police stay updated on what is happening in our area around campus, especially since we are not a traditionally enclosed campus.


Also, according to the police page on Point Park’s website, “while University officer jurisdiction is limited to “the immediate and adjacent vicinity”, Pennsylvania courts have ruled circumstances can extend this jurisdiction. Such circumstances include “pursuits,” when an officer is actively pursuing a suspect. The severity of a crime witnessed by an officer can also have an effect on jurisdiction. When needed, University officers will request Pittsburgh police assistance or intervention.”


Additionally, there was another crime last Wednesday near campus that was sent through email at 8:55 a.m. stating: “This message is to alert you to a crime that occurred near campus. On 11/23/22 between the hours of 2:30am and 8:00am a burglary occurred at 111 Market Street Pittsburgh, PA 15222 (Genoa Pizza).  The business was unoccupied at the time and there were no injuries reported. Pittsburgh Police are investigating the incident. There is believed to be no threat to Point Park University or our community members.” The email was sent almost an hour after the end of this large robbery window. 


We need better and faster communication from campus police. We need better advertisement for the PointAlert system and updates to make sure all numbers signed up receive messages. We need to know what is going on in our area to stay safe.