Tenants question Woodlands' safety

Tenants question Woodlands' safety

Students are feeling uneasy about the recent violence at the Woodlands in Tuscaloosa, Al. CW | Lindsey Leonard

The Woodlands leasing staff sent an email to tenants Oct. 20 notifying them of an armed robbery of two tenants that took place in the parking lot of the complex, located on Hargrove Road in Tuscaloosa, on the morning of Saturday, Oct. 19.

Some tenants said they are frustrated that management did not notify them until the Monday after the incident occurred.

Devin Stevens, a sophomore majoring in criminal justice, said he asked the Woodlands management why they waited to let tenants know about the incident. He also asked why tenants had not been made aware of a previous incident involving a gun that occurred on Oct. 5, according to emails sent between Stevens and the leasing office.

“The management should have alerted the tenants during the event of a situation or emergency,” Stevens said.

The Crimson White reached out to the Woodlands to comment for this article but did not receive a response by the time of publication.

A representative from the leasing office responded to Stevens’ inquiries stating they notified tenants as soon as they had verified information about the incident, and they did not notify tenants of the incident on Oct. 5 because security handled the issue and no tenants of the Woodlands were involved.

With recent events and delayed notifications of violence from the management, Stevens said he no longer feels safe in his apartment.

“You can’t feel safe honestly when a shooting happens in one of the other buildings next to you but management or TPD doesn’t alert us to it," he said. "It is different here where you don’t get UAPD alerts for things that happen right outside where you live. You look out the windows at night, [you] see people lurking around outside all the time. We have encountered several different occasions to where we question the ‘security’ provided.”

With these two events at the Woodlands and the anonymous threats made last month to the University of Alabama campus, sophomore business major Karissa Koupash said she'd like to be notified of any security issue on campus or off campus.

“I think we need to be notified as soon as possible, regardless of the location," Koupash said. "Keeping students informed makes us feel safer and changes our behavior, especially when going out at night. We shouldn't have to wait for an incident to occur before we start improving on- and off-campus safety."

The Woodlands was unable to return a request for comment at the time of publication. 

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