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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Students Want More From DPS Alerts

Students say they want more informative and faster DPS alerts, but more than 70% of them aren't getting the alerts at all. We asked DPS when they decide to send out a Trojans Alert. 

In the wake of a school shooting in Oregon, some students say they want to be better informed about incidents in USC’s community.

The Department of Public Safety sends out Trojans Alert when some major incidents occur, but student Ashima Agrawal says they’re not doing enough. “I don’t think it’s fair to the students and our families because I know some people, their parents get Trojan alerts too and I don’t think it’s fair to the Trojan community to not have more information.”

In August, she says she only found out there was a man firing a gun nearby from her sorority’s security guard—DPS never sent out a notification.

DPS Deputy Chief David Carlisle says Trojans Alert are for emergencies only. “This is supposed to be a system that is not informational, but urgent situation, do this now. Run, hide, fight. shelter in place, avoid the area when we have streets blocked.”

But it may be a moot point: most students don’t even get the Trojans Alert. While DPS is working to automatically enroll students in the program, 70% of them are not getting the urgent emergency messages.

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