'We're all in this together': Fayetteville State receives $80k grant to protect against bomb threats

ByMonique John via WTVD logo
Friday, September 16, 2022
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Fayetteville State University received an $80,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education to help protect the institution from bomb threats.

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- Fayetteville State University received an $80,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education to help protect the institution from bomb threats. It was one of almost a dozen historically Black colleges and universities to receive bomb threats earlier this year.

The grant is part of an initiative called Project SERV, or Project School Emergency Response to Violence. Fayetteville State's Police Chief Roberto Bryan says the grant is important for helping them expand on the measures they've already taken.

"Initially, when the bomb threats took place, our stakeholders: students, staff and faculty were concerned about their safety and security," Chief Bryan said. "So, we as a department went ahead and implemented additional security measures by having officers working overtime at our guard shack, and also patrolling other communities within the university."

Now the money they're receiving from the Department of Education is allowing Fayetteville State to pour into resources like trauma recovery for students, increase patrols, and offer more robust mental health support.

"We're able to utilize this money to put it back in towards looking at options and layers of security for our students while they are on campus," Chief Bryan said.

The bomb threats made in February led to cancelled classes at several historically Black colleges and universities. At FSU, staff and commuter students were instructed to vacate campus; residential students were asked to shelter in place. The FBI intervened in the situation.

Now months later, the university is standing strong in the face of the violence.

"For anyone that is considering trying to do harm, we're going to be vigilant--not only the police, but the campus overall," Bryan said. "We constantly have discussions with students, faculty and staff to make sure we're all in this together. Everyone has to play a role in our security on this campus."

Chief Bryan says efforts to protect FSU are happening off-campus as well. Fayetteville State officials have been having ongoing conversations with other universities about any potential threats to continue beefing up security.