The EWU police are currently installing nine new “blue light” security stations on campus. These stations, which will be able to connect students immediately to 911 in case of emergencies, will be in place and ready for use in about two months, just in time for fall quarter.
The stations, like the two that are already installed in front of Patterson Hall facing the Mall and in Lot Nine by the Pavilion, will contain flashing blue alert lights and buttons that will instantly connect the student to 911 through speakerphones.
Two of the new stations, which will be installed in Lots 12 and 16, will also be equipped with two-way telephones that may be used to call roommates or EWU police for an escort or a ride home.
The blue light stations are being funded through the efforts of Mary Voves, Vice President of Business and Maintenance for EWU. She worked with the police to secure the funds for the project, which began in 1995 with the installation of the first two stations.
According to Director of Public Safety and Chief of Police Tom McGill, the police have just been waiting for the money to become available to continue the project that was started almost six years ago. “We always intended to install nine more stations when the funds became available,” McGill stated.
Besides the stations in Lots Nine and 12, new stations will be installed in the following locations: Lot 17 by Kingston Hall, Lot Three behind JFK Library, the Music and Art Complex, outside the practice fields by the tennis courts, near the racquetball courts and the Fieldhouse, on the cement building near Phase One facing Washington Street, and one at 10th and Cedar, near Streeter, Morrison, and Dryden Halls.
Chief McGill said that the goals of the police in starting this project were to improve emergency communications access and to improve the quality of overall student safety on campus. He is confident that the new additions will add to that goal greatly. He also expressed pleasure with the way that the stations have been treated so far.
“Students have not abused these [stations] by punching the buttons or making false calls; they understand that these are emergency-only stations and we are very appreciative of that,” McGill said.