Report Finds Campus Alert Following Sac City College Shooting was ‘Inexcusably Delayed’

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.


"Inexcusably delayed."

Those are the harsh words of an independent analyst about the kind of campus alert sent out to Sacramento City College's students and faculty after fatal shots rang out there Sept. 3.

A newly released report about emergency response the day Roman Gonzalez was killed says once deemed necessary, getting a potentially life-saving message posted through the College's WARN system took 36 minutes.

"So much can happen in 36 minutes. You want it to be there within a minute, if not faster," said Aaron Dotson, a second-year SCC student majoring in audio production.

Freddie Hunter, Dotson's classmate, feels the same way.

"More people could have died or gotten hurt or anything in those 36 minutes," he said.

On Thursday,  students like Vincent Barnett were able to sit and relax along 11th Avenue, a street that was a major evacuation route the day violence came to campus.

"I looked on the news and saw this happened ... and was like wow ... that's pretty crazy," Barnett said.

The chancellor over the Los Rios Community College District, that includes Sac City College, commissioned the independent report and says he's taking its findings seriously.

"Our text notification of students didn't not happen nearly quickly enough and that's something that we've already worked hard to fix," said Chancellor Brian King.

Another one of the findings by the retired FBI agent who analyzed the response, is that during the crisis, Sac City's public information officer couldn't remember critical log-on codes needed to send the campus alerts.

"We've taken appropriate action with staff. Personnel masters are confidential," King said when asked if anyone had been punished as a result of the slow alerts.

No jobs were lost over the matter.

The independent report goes on to say the structure of the WARN system didn't allow others to log on as surrogates and help the PIO, missed notifying 107 campus personnel and then texted only that group the "all clear."

It also suggests staff should have quarterly drills on how to use WARN, including in mock scenarios, but that's something the chancellor says already happens.

Additionally, recommendations call for competency with the system to be part of staff performance reviews.

"We are doing robust training, but we can always do better."

Something King says is better on campuses across the Los Rios system since the shooting is that all teachers have keys to their classrooms.

That was not the case when many at SCC got the notice to lockdown their rooms because of a shooter on campus.

We tried to talk directly to Sac City's public information officer about the critiques in the report, but Rick Brewer says the chancellor is the only one able to speak about the findings.

The Los Rios Community College district has a crisis team that meets regularly.

Members will discuss the report's recommendations early next month.

SCC Response Report