Alabama A&M planning campus police station near fight site

Alabama A&M planning campus police station near fight site
The AAMU Foundation is in the process of rehabilitating the former College Plaza shopping center, with a new campus police station set to open there this fall.

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - In September 2017, the Alabama A&M University Foundation bought the College Plaza on Meridian St., just a block away from the scene of a fight that escalated into gunfire just after 11 a.m. Thursday.

We spoke to Dr. Allen Vital, Executive Director of the AAMU Foundation, about a plan already in progress to keep students safer.

There are 16 units in the shopping center, one of which is slated to become a new campus police station.

"This area we are in a position to rehabilitate it," Dr. Vital explained.
The AAMU Foundation is updating and enhancing the campus-adjacent strip mall once called College Plaza.
"We've had a few requests for things like barber shops, beauty salons, bookstore possibly, restaurants—things of that nature so that individuals in the area don't have to travel too far out for some conveniences.”
Dr. Vital also plans to speak with the owner of the shopping center a block away, where the fight occurred, about the future of the property.
"I know the property is owned by an alum and I'll be in contact with him so that maybe we can assist or have some conversations about that property."
The university is hopeful the project will have a positive impact in the area.
"Maybe with the visibility of police cars and things like that will also help with crime reduction in the area," Dr. Vital said of the plan for an increased police presence.
We’re told A&M will also be running their bicycle patrol unit out of the same plaza.
"Now here they'll be easier to store their bicycles and easier to get out on patrols on their bicycles particularly game day activities with people going to the stadium."

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The updated, but thus far unnamed, shopping center and campus police station are expected to be completed by the time students return this fall.
There is a competition to name the shopping center going on right now that comes with a $500 cash prize.

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