University enacts many campus security measures


University enacts many campus security measures


Staff Writer
Posted: 5/22/07

The Virginia Tech massacre in late April was a shocking reminder of the importance of campus safety.

Pitt, which spends more than $9 million annually on security measures, has many organizations and programs that promote safety on campus.

First and foremost, the Pitt police department safeguards the lives of students every day and represents the third largest police force in Allegheny County. In addition to officers on foot, bicycle or motorcycle, the department includes 74 commissioned police officers and has a minimum of four cars patrolling Oakland's streets during each shift.

There are four Pitt police stations on campus. They are located at Sutherland Hall, Sennott Square and two locations on Forbes Avenue, one between the Barco Law Building and David Lawrence Hall. The other is the new Public Safety Building located at 3412 Forbes Ave.

Students can report crimes by calling the Pitt police at (412) 624-2121 or by dialing 4-2121 on a campus phone, going to one of the stations or by using the anonymous tips portion of the Pitt police's website at More than 500 emergency phones, which students can use to contact Pitt police in case of an emergency, are located across campus. Exterior and garage phones are easily identifiable by their blue lights.

In addition, nearly 300 surveillance cameras are spread throughout the campus and are monitored 24 hours a day.

The University also maintains many other safety measures beside the University police. In the event of a campus-wide emergency, the communications center at the Public Safety Building is equipped to lock down 80 percent of Pitt's buildings. Also, the University can send emergency e-mails to students, faculty and staff and make emergency announcements over the public address systems in campus buildings.

Pitt's Office of Sexual Assault Services provides counseling and medical services for anyone who has been sexually harassed or abused. Students can reach OSAS at (412) 648-7930.

Each term the University offers a one-credit personal-defense course, which teaches students to defend themselves and escape from an attacker.

Security guards control access to all residence halls. Students must present their student IDs, which are then swiped through an electronic system by the guards, to gain access to their residence halls. Guests wishing to enter a residence hall must first have a student who lives there sign them in. Guests must also be signed out or the resident may face a fine.

Each residence hall has a resident assistant on every floor. Their duties include supervising fire evacuations, resolving roommate disputes, and handling vandalism, disorderly conduct, medical and psychological emergencies. RAs are on duty every evening, including weekends and holidays. Each residence hall has a resident director to supervise the RAs.

In all residence halls, dorm-room doors can only be opened with either a key or the occupant's student ID followed by a four-digit code.

The University also urges students to practice common sense when traversing the campus. Students should stay in well-lit and highly-traveled areas. When running or walking, students should travel with someone and carry a whistle. Students should also familiarize themselves with emergency phone locations.


Original Source:<a href=>The Pitt News - May 22, 2007</a>






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