Police beef up safety for former president
By Abbigail Overfelt
From the time secret service officials arrived on April 1 to the day of President Bill Clinton’s visit on April 4, the University was put through several tests to deem the area secure for Clinton’s visit.
According to Lt. Derrick Locklear, the secret service conducted a geographical survey April 1 to determine a travel plan as well as the safest building on campus in which to hold the rally.
On April 2, Campus Police were briefed as to what to expect. Secret service told police that they should look for strange, unique or suspicuous behaviors, Lt. Locklear said.
“In my 10–year history [at UNCP] I have not seen security measures of this magnitude,” he said.
According to Chancellor Allen C. Meadors, Sen. Clinton’s campaign arrived at 8:30 p.m. on April 3 to set up the area. At 6 a.m. on the morning of April 4, K–9 units were brought in from the Robeson County Sheriff’s Department to ensure that the building was free from danger, Dr. Meadors said.
When the doors opened at 8:30 a.m., people were let in under observation of the police.
Dr. Meadors said he felt that the campaign decided not to use metal detectors because of time restraints for the campaign especially with the high volume of people expected at the event.
“I think it went as smooth as possible,” he said.