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August 14, 2013
By Natalie Savidge
As the University of Nevada, Reno prepares to welcome students back to campus next week with classes beginning on Aug. 26, University Police Services is making sure they are ready to serve and protect the campus community.
During an all-systems test this Friday, University Police Services will activate several campus safety platforms, including a new outdoor notification system capable of signaling an audible alert in an emergency situation. Other emergency communication mechanisms include an SMS text message; campus-wide e-mail; posting to Twitter and Facebook; the department's new AM information radio station 1670 KHz and a scrolling banner on campus public computers.
In addition to this emergency alert system, the University provides many safety-related services, including a network of 107 emergency "blue lights" phones in the University's parking garages, across the main Reno campus and in the Redfield Campus parking lot. Each phone allows quick access to "911" emergency assistance with the push of a button.
"Safety on and around campus is of utmost concern to the University," University Police Services Director Adam Garcia said. "This test will provide applicable information our community will need during an emergency event and showcase our emergency operations."
Just this month, the City of Reno was listed by Business Insider as the 17th Safest City in America, based on a substantially below national average of violent crimes.
"As we work to strengthen law enforcement presence on campus, it is important for individuals to take charge of their personal safety and reach out to a friend and colleague and encourage them to do the same," Garcia said. "Together, we can further the sense of community and culture of safety at the University of Nevada, Reno."
All students, faculty and staff are encouraged to sign up for the University's Emergency Messaging System. Messages are sent to all enrolled cell phones in the event of an emergency or unexpected closing at the University. Those already enrolled in the program will receive a test message through the system during the emergency test.
"The University's outdoor notification system is the only one of its kind in Nevada, let alone on the Nevada System of Higher Education campuses," Garcia said.
The outdoor notification system and information radio station was funded by a grant awarded to the University by the Division of Emergency Management, Homeland Security.
Police Services also encourages everyone to report incidents and cooperate with investigations when an issue of safety is involved. Introduced last fall, the new "See a Crime, Send a Text" program offers a quick-tip, crime-reporting option. Anyone can text UNRTIP and a message to 50911. UNRTIP must be first, and all reports are confidential.
"We encourage our students and all of the campus community to take advantage of the many services and programs offered to them, such as our Campus Escort Service and Student Cadet Program," Garcia said. "The ultimate responsible for your safety rests with you."
For more information about safety programs, emergency procedures, tips, classes and training opportunities, visit www.unr.edu/police or call 775-784-4013.