Office of the President

Keeping You Safe and Informed

April 28, 2023

Dear Campus Community, 

This week our campus experienced an event that brought the fear of gun violence too close to home. I share the concern many of you feel following our campus response to a report of possible gunshots, which thankfully proved to be construction noise. This understandably left some questioning our readiness to respond to such emergencies. We must and will do better to provide you with actionable information and preparedness training for emergency situations.  

What Happened  

Tuesday afternoon, university police department (UPD) and Pomona police officers responded to a report of possible gunshots at building 94 and the first officers were on scene within three minutes of being dispatched. They quickly determined that the noise was due to nearby construction and within five minutes of their arrival deemed the scene safe. I commend UPD and Pomona police for their swift and brave action in their response and I know we are all relieved that this turned out to be a false alarm. 

I regret and apologize that we fell short in communicating the circumstances to you in a prompt and clear manner, which made an alarming experience worse for many. While we did send “all clear” messages by social media and email, we were not timely or thorough enough in our communication during and after the event. 

What We Are Doing 

This incident has raised valid concerns about our protocols for keeping the campus community safe and informed in potential emergency situations and highlighted a number of issues we have already started to address.  

My leadership team and UPD have already begun to assess our processes, re-evaluate our emergency response and communication procedures and implement necessary changes. You have my commitment that we will strengthen safety protocols and training for students, faculty and staff covering a range of circumstances, and I will report back to you on our progress on all of these matters within the coming months. 

One change we have made immediately: when there is a potential or actual threat and an elevated police response (as happened Tuesday), we will send an alert – by text, phone call, email and more – to the entire campus community with directions for your action as swiftly as we are able, while ensuring that law enforcement’s response will not be compromised. Immediately after UPD has determined a scene to be secure, we will send an “all clear” alert. 

What You Can Do 

The frequency and randomness of gun violence in our country make what happened this week on our campus all the more disturbing. I understand the strong emotions that many members of our community feel knowing that such an event could happen here. Regrettably, we must anticipate the unthinkable.  

All of us have a responsibility to keep ourselves and fellow community members safe, so I urge you to take the following steps: 

  • Ensure your contact information is updated in Bronco Direct so you’ll get emergency alerts. 
  • Visit the Emergency Management website and watch the short video on what to do in an active shooter situation, which is to “Run. Hide. Fight.” 
  • Remain vigilant, and if you see something, say something.  
  • Save UPD’s number in your phone and contact them in the event of an emergency: (909) 869-3070. 
  • Students are encouraged to visit the Care Center located in building 97 under the Marketplace, which is open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Students can walk in without an appointment, call (909) 869-5071 or submit a referral form. 
  • Faculty and staff are encouraged to contact CPPLifeMatters: (800) 367-7474. 

I care deeply about your physical and mental wellbeing, and I will continue taking steps to strengthen safety and preparedness at Cal Poly Pomona.


Soraya M. Coley, Ph.D.