The police and emergency response to the on-campus slaying of FIU football star Kendall Berry was swift and efficient but the school still needs work on its campus alert system, according to a report on the murder released last week.
The 24-page report, compiled by Dean of FIU's College of Law R. Alexander Acosta, said that while the campus police's response to the March 25 stabbing of Berry was spot-on, the hour and 15 minute delay between the time of the first call and the first alert informing students of the incident needs improvement.
The first 911 call on the stabbing that happened outside the campus recreation center went out at 9:03 p.m., and police and first responders were on the scene within five minutes of the call.
But it wasn't until 10:28 p.m. that a "Panther Alert" went out to students, after several phone calls between administration and staff.
“WE HAD A FELONIOUS ASSAULT BY THE RECREATION CENTER SUSPECT AT LARGE TUNE INTO LOCAL MEDIA FOR MORE," read the alert.
The alert was the first time the system had been used, according to the report.
"This emergency response technology is consistent with best practices and has the capacity to work well," Acosta wrote. "The system’s performance, nonetheless, can be improved."
According to Acosta, the school not only had a delay in issuing the alert, but there were also technical problems with the transmission.
Not to mention that a low number of students were registered to receive the messages.
To combat the problems, Acosta made several recommendations the university could use, including making receiving Panther Alerts mandatory for all students, making alert messages more streamlined and efficient, and developing a chain of command to get the messages out sooner.
Quentin Wyche, 22, has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of Berry. According to police, the incident began at the school's rec center when Wyche insulted Berry's girlfriend and threw cookies in her face. As the two men exchanged words and the argument became physical, Wyche stabbed Berry, allegedly with scissors.
The 22-year-old Berry, a running back for FIU, was transported from the scene within 10 minutes of the first 911 call, but died a short time later.