Students and staff spoke out at a forum Tuesday about a lockdown at Central Connecticut State University earlier this month that caused a massive emergency response at the campus.
On Nov. 4, people were locked inside dorms and classrooms when the emergency alert was sounded after someone called police to report they saw a man with a mask, metal sword and gun. It turned out to be a student in a Halloween costume he wore days earlier and forgot to bring a change of clothes with him.
People on campus were locked down for hours until David Kyem, a student at CCSU, was removed from campus. He was charged with breach of peace.
Kyem is no longer a student at the university. Current CCSU students said they wished they were more informed during the lockdown at a forum Tuesday afternoon at Torp Theatre at Davidson Hall on the New Britain campus.
"We heard the alarm, but couldn't hear the talking," said one female speaker.
Some of the issues addressed at the forum included:
Getting doors that didn't have the proper lockings fixed.
Getting messages out faster.
Making sure the phone number you want receiving alerts from the university is the one actually registered with CCSU.
"We're concerned the system has a number of issues at times that the amount of information being pushed out is delayed," said Dr. Richard Bachoo, who is the chief administrative officer at CCSU. "Because I have heard everything from people getting an immediate response to some that got none."
Officials with the university tried to keep the campus up to date with emails, voicemails, tweets and postings on Facebook.
There were 13 CCSU officers who were assisted by 62 New Britain police, 70 state troopers and a handful of others from Newington, West Hartford and federal agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Local police are trying to figure out a way to pay for all of the overtime costs associated with the massive emergency response.
The CCSU Police Department has released its expenses associated with this month's lockdown. The school paid more than $2,000 in overtime between 13 officers and $350 for two dispatchers.
New Britain police Chief James Wardwell said Kyem should be responsible for repaying the cost.
Wardwell said on Monday the New Britain Police Department estimated its total cost at about $13,000 after 62 officers responded. It also cost:
$5,300 in overtime
$4,600 in straight time
$2,500 accrued through the criminal investigation division
Eyewitness News did speak with Kyem's father, Peter Kyem, Tuesday afternoon. Peter Kyem is a geography professor at CCSU.
Peter Kyem said he wasn't able to attend the forum and said though his son won't likely be talking to Eyewitness News, he is doing pretty good.
According to Peter Kyem, it is too early to determine if David Kyem will enroll at another school.
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