UConn’s Division of Public Safety is installing new locks on classroom doors for all campuses as part of the Classroom Security Program. This is a phase of a multi-faceted plan to ultimately create a security operation center for the Storrs campus.
“We are looking for efficiency,” said Assistant Director of Public Safety Andrew Langlais. “It would be a lower tier information center.”
Once established, the center would deal with all departments with call taking and dispatching capabilities. Maintenance requests, active camera monitoring and intrusion alarms are part of what would be handled by the new center. All emergency calls would still be managed in a separate center.
“It would centralize and improve security on campus,” Langlais said.
Last February, the Division of Public Safety created a group to look at physical security of UConn campuses. Outside firms were hired to consult on the various security systems in place, according to Langlais.
“One of the highest priorities at Storrs and regional campuses is that all classrooms can be locked from the inside in case of a violent threat on campus,” Langlais said. “It’s a stop-gap measure.”
There are no figures currently available on the cost of the new locking system as it is currently being put in place. The timeline for installations is also unknown. The program is being funded by the Division of Public Safety in partnership with facilities and campus’ locksmiths.
Students were alerted to the new “comprehensive security program” through an Emergency Management Bulletin. Alongside notification of the new locks on classroom doors, they were also provided with plans for active shooter situations, bomb threats and power outages. They are specifically designed by the Division of Public Safety for UConn students.
“We’re always working to educate the UConn community about our emergency preparedness plans,” said UConn Spokesperson Stephanie Reitz. “We encourage everyone to become ‘UConn Ready’ and to familiarize themselves with these plans as we work together toward the safest possible campus community.”
Sarah McNeal is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.