GENESEO – The University Police Department is currently investigating a series of minor fires and false fire alarm activations in several residence halls on the SUNY campus, the first of which took place the evening of Sunday, October 5, in Ontario Hall.
According to University Police, there have been ten false fire alarm activations since October. Monroe, Suffolk, Onondaga and especially Niagara Residence Halls have had the pull-box style fire alarms activated since October.
” We had a number of false fire alarm activations since as early as October 5, with no pattern,” said Thomas Kilchullen, Chief of University Police at Geneseo. “Then we saw a sequence in one particular area, Niagara Hall. There have been a total of ten incidents reported, six of which occurred in Niagara.”
Chief Kilchullen added that two of these alarms were apparently triggered by microwave popcorn, but the other pull-box activations had no root cause behind them. The perpetrator or perpetrators of these false alarms can be prosecuted on criminal charges, including Reporting a False Incident in the Third Degree, a Class A misdemeanor, which can result in up to a year in jail.
University Police has conducted what they are calling “Knock and Talk” operations, knocking on doors and reaching out for support of the community on this matter.
“An investigation is a mosaic,” added Chief Kilchullen. “You try to get as many of the pieces of the puzzle as possible. The goal and the message here is to reinforce our relationship with the community, to partner with people to bring these incidents to a close.”
Anyone with any information regarding these incidents is strongly encouraged to reach out to the University Police Department at (585)245-5651, or their Silent Witness anonymous tip feature online. if they see suspicious persons or activities.
University Police Added that there may be a monetary reward for information that leads to an arrest.
PHOTO CREDIT: Photo by Brian Dolan.