University Police Services is continuing to improve emergency communication mechanisms as part of the overall effort to serve and protect the campus community.
During an all-systems test Thursday, June 5, University Police Services activated several emergency communication channels, including the on-campus, outdoor notification system that produces an audible tone, alert or siren, and allows broadcast announcements to be made. The system is the only of its kind in Nevada and was paid for by a grant awarded to the University by the State of Nevada Homeland Security Commission.
"Safety on and around campus is of utmost concern to the University," University Police Services Director Adam Garcia said. "This routine test provides applicable information our community will need during an emergency event and showcased our emergency operations. Testing the system regularly keeps us prepared in the event of an emergency."
"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 received a test message through the system during the emergency test Thursday. In addition to a short message service or SMS text alert, the test included an email to subscribers to the emergency messaging system, a message on the University and Police Services' Facebook and Twitter accounts, a message banner on the University's homepage, an audio message transmitted over 1670 kHz AM radio and a scrolling text bar on public monitors on-campus and desktop computers University-wide.
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.
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 a message to 50911, and please include UNRTIP in the message. 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 responsibility for your safety rests with you."