12 OYS: Paine College contends campus is safe despite concerns raised

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News 12 at 6 o'clock / May 8, 2014

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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- What we know from campus officials is that safety is a top priority. But what we are finding out suggests there may have been holes in security before the shootings.

Paine College Vice President Brandon Brown has made at least one thing perfectly clear following two shootings on campus this week.

"Safety is first here at the institution," Brown said.

While security has been beefed up with the efforts of the Richmond County Sheriff's Office, freshman Jakari Cox said at one time it was pretty easy to get around campus without showing ID.

Meanwhile, Richmond County Sheriff Richard Roundtree told the media in a briefing on Wednesday that several people have been removed from the property because they "have no business on Paine College campus."

"They are banned from this property. If they ever step foot back on this property, they will be arrested on site," Roundtree said.

While an incident report from Sunday's shooting does not say how two suspects were able to enter Gray Hall, Cox said he would not be surprised if it was from the back door.

"It stays propped open because people usually don't have their key card," Cox said.

It is not the first time concerns have been raised about campus safety. Last year and in 2012, two female students reported that Jairus Dantzler attacked them in their dorms, raping one of the women.

Attorney Chris Stewart who represents one of the victims, said Paine College failed to "secure doors to the female dormitories after scheduled lock down time."

Investigators concluded that a door to the dorm was "in poor condition with the lock being very rusty" and they had to "slam the door to engage the locking mechanism."

Since arriving at Paine last year, Cox said even driving onto the campus is easier than ever.

"Riding through, they don't really check ID's like that," Cox said.

But Paine College says its message is clear.

"We are continuing to make every possible effort to make sure our students are safe," Brown said.

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