During the summer, when most full-time students are away, various CUA offices take the opportunity to implement significant enhancements to the campus. That was certainly the case for CUA’s Department of Public Safety this past summer as it worked to install new security systems and devices.
The public safety department oversaw the installation of a public-address alert system in 23 key locations throughout campus. It provides the university with the capability to issue brief messages through outdoor loudspeakers to communicate an emergency or present danger on campus. CUA is the first university in the District of Columbia to employ this kind of outdoor announcement system.
The all-campus public-address system is not replacing the university’s use of any of its other emergency notification methods, which include text messaging, e-mail, voice mail and Web announcements; the system is a redundancy being put into place to ensure that emergency messages are disseminated as widely and rapidly as possible throughout the community.
In addition, this year the university will gain the ability to deliver emergency alerts through the campus’ cable television service. This technology will allow for text and audio messages.
Last year, video cameras were installed around campus, enabling the public safety office to monitor outdoor activity on closed-circuit television 24 hours a day. Five new cameras were installed this summer to monitor more key spots on campus.
In August, the Department of Public Safety finished setting up a backup nerve center in the Columbus School of Law on the east side of campus. This backup center will enable the entire safety operation to relocate if the main security headquarters in Leahy Hall is rendered inoperable.
Several new outdoor emergency phones were also installed over the summer and some of the older phones were replaced. There are now more than 120 emergency phones on CUA’s campus.