CrimeNews

Campus becomes a little safer with help from new emergency call towers



This year, the University installed new emergency call towers at the School of Architecture and Allied Arts’ Millrace Studios across Franklin Boulevard.

The main function of the towers is to link a caller directly to Department of Public Safety dispatch, which can then send any officer in the vicinity to that location.

Security cameras come standard with the new 13-foot, 6-inch-high towers, which cost around $12,000 each. The cameras allow the Department of Public Safety to monitor the area around the towers in case of an emergency.

“What’s great about this project is that the new call boxes are a culmination of two years of research and work between DPS and the Arts department,” DPS Communications Officer Kelly McIver said.@@http://www.uoregon.edu/findpeople/person/Kelly*[email protected]@ “This was generated by (the Arts department) and the students.”

The location and hours of operation of the studios across Franklin Boulevard, according to McIver, prompted improved versions of the boxes already on campus. “The transient rate in that area is high, and we found evidence of (more than) student and faculty visitation to that area,” he said.

Recent University graduate Haley Graham@@http://haleygrahamphotography.blogspot.com/@@ said the new towers will serve as a sufficient protective asset to students. “In this case, it’s better safe than sorry. Regular call boxes would have probably been fine, but I think these new towers will make people feel safe,” she said. “I always felt safe over at the Millrace studios, but I definitely wouldn’t walk home past 9 p.m. alone.”

According to her, the studios are protected by keypad entry for the safety of students working late into the night and into the early morning.

“Building safety isn’t bad at all,” she said. “Every building has an access code for entry. The problem is, it’s pretty easy to get codes for buildings. If you needed a code, you could get one from a friend.”

Digital Arts major Anya Klyukanova@@http://www.uoregon.edu/findpeople/person/Anya*[email protected]@ visits the Millrace Studios twice a week. While raccoons are her main fear in the studio area, she believes the towers deter transients and people not from the University from frequenting the area.

“I think that the towers show that DPS indeed has a presence in the area, and that the Millrace complexes can be just as safe as the main campus,” Klyukanova said.

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