Campus Eye Enhances Security at Westminster
BY CHELSEA SHARP
In the open dialogue portion of a Jan. 24 Student Government Association meeting, a concerned student brought up the topic of campus security. The main issue was whether SGA’s funds should go toward more blue light emergency phones on campus or go toward improving the Campus Eye app.
“I’ve worked here for three and a half years, and the blue lights have not been used for emergency purposes,” Geoff Crosby, head of campus security, said.
There are several emergency blue light phones located on campus. Students who feel they are in danger on campus can go to one of the lights and press the emergency button. Once that button is pressed, then the call will automatically go straight to police dispatch and a 911 officer will talk with the person who called. Also, when the button is pushed, the light will start to flash bright blue and make a loud noise.
The reason it was brought up in the SGA meeting is that the emergency blue light phones are not as effective as they used to be. It is possible that someone could be in serious trouble and can’t reach a phone in time. Young children passing by for school like to push the button for fun, which can cause serious confusion for police officers.
Therefore, Campus Eye was created as a safe way to contact 911, campus security, and Plant Operations. If a student is trying to report a problem on campus, the student can take a picture of where he or she is located and it send it to campus security right away. Also, if that same student feels threatened, he or she can tap the 911 button on their screen and it goes automatically to a 911 officer. This makes it easier for students to contact the proper authorities and is an effective method of promoting a safe environment for students, faculty and visitors.
“Since it has been implemented into Westminster’s campus, Campus Eye has been used plenty of times,” Crosby said. It also works to notify Plant Operations about needed repairs, according to Crosby: “A student can take a picture of anything in their residence and send it. The picture will go to Plant Operations, and they will go and fix the issue right away. This makes it easier for the workers because they can visually see what needs to be fixed. Campus Eye serves a dual purpose.”