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Harrisburg Area Community College responded in an email Tuesday night to several concerns expressed by students and others following an .
Chief among the concerns was why the college did not post an alert to students, warning them of the assault sooner, but the email also addresses questions about how security officers are deployed and whether security cameras should be used on campus.
Harrisburg police continued searching for the suspect as of Tuesday night.
While the assault took place at 6:45 p.m., the college did not warn students until later that night because the victim, who escaped the suspect, did not immediately report the incident, according to the email sent from college president John J. Sygielski's office.
College security was not made aware of the assault until 7:55 p.m., according to a Facebook post from the college's account in response to a student's complaint about reporting of the incident Monday.
"HACC security moved quickly once the report was received and was able to get as much information as possible about the alleged incident," the email reads in part.
The email, which also was sent to students and faculty Tuesday, also states that the college is confident in its deployment of security officers into designated patrol zones across the campus and mentioned efforts to get security cameras put in place "as quickly as possible" in outside areas on campus.
A proposal to add the cameras is being discussed, the email states.
The email also mentions safety measures including the college's attempts to get lighting units repaired, co-training security with area law enforcement and changes to the college's policy to allow pepper spray to be carried on campus.
According to the college's statistics, only nine crimes have been reported so far this fall semester, which began Aug. 22. Crime also has trended downward since 2011, with 18 crimes being reported between Aug. 22 and Dec. 15 of that year and only 15 crimes during the same time period this past year, the statistics indicate.
So far, no detailed description was available for the suspect, who was only outlined as "a white or light-skinned male, wearing blue pants and a gray sweatshirt or coat," in , which was posted toward midnight Monday.
Anyone with any information regarding the indecent assault or the suspect is asked to contact Harrisburg police Det. John O Connor at 717-255-3175 or through Dauphin County dispatchers at 717-558-6900.
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