The emergency call stations began appearing on campus in late 2011. During the spring 2012 semester, wiring necessary to make the units operational has been performed and each call station has been assigned a street address so that emergency personnel can be directed to the correct location.
With all of that work complete, the call stations have now been tested and are functional. They are part of an investment of more than $1.6 million in ongoing campus security upgrades at Arkansas Tech.
Additional campus lighting, electronic door access to classroom buildings, additional security cameras, security gates to improve pedestrian safety, additional officers for the Department of Public Safety and a forthcoming addition to the Department of Public Safety facility that will include an improvement of the department’s communications system are also part of the security enhancements.
“Arkansas Tech University takes its responsibility to provide for the safety of our students, faculty and staff very seriously,” said Susie Nicholson, Arkansas Tech vice president for student services and university relations. “Our No. 1 priority is the safety of our campus community. We are appreciative of the support from our Board of Trustees and the dedication of resources to this project. The security upgrades that we have put in place and will continue to develop will forward our long-held reputation as a safe place to study and work.”
The 21 call stations are placed at strategic locations on the 516-acre campus of Arkansas Tech. They are intended for use only in emergency situations.
If an individual pushes a call station button, the Pope County 911 emergency system is activated and the appropriate authorities are dispatched.
Pressing a call station button in a non-emergency situation is considered communicating a false alarm, which is a class A misdemeanor in Arkansas. Penalties can include fines of up to $2,500 and one year in jail.
In addition to the emergency call stations, Arkansas Tech students, faculty and staff are encouraged to program the Department of Public Safety telephone number (479-968-0222) into their mobile devices. Officers are available 24 hours per day.
“Our mission is to provide every student with the opportunity to achieve his or her academic goals,” said Nicholson. “Providing a safe learning environment is part of that mission. Campus security is a daily concern at Arkansas Tech, and we will continue to investigate new ways to keep our students, faculty and staff safe.”