The University of Nevada Las Vegas has been given the green light to invest $16.5 million in campus security upgrades.
The Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents approved the plan, which has been advocated for by students, staff and faculty for several years, reports 8 News. The money will come from excess reserves of student fees.
“Safety is always important to the university, obviously with the recent October 1 incident,” said UNLV police services IT manager Ryan Doyle, referencing the 2017 Las Vegas mass shooting that claimed the lives of 58 people.
Some of the main priorities will be adding new emergency phones and improving security cameras.
“We have surveillance cameras on top which gives a 360-degree view of what happens around the phone as people are walking around the campus,” said Doyle. “We are able to keep track of that if someone presses the phone we immediately are able to identify what’s happening in the area.”
Executive Director of Planning, Construction and University Architect, David Frommer, said police will be able to remotely monitor the emergency call stations through their surveillance cameras, according to News 3. Police will also be able to tell if the unit is malfunctioning and some will also have the ability to be used as a public address system.
So far, 19 call stations have been installed using a $250,000 grant from 2016. There will be a total of 100 call stations installed once the project is finished.
UNLV police will also receive $600,000 to upgrade their communications system and purchase more patrol bikes, reports UNLV Free Press.
Student Nick Barbarino is pleased with how the money is being spent.
“I think its good there’s a lot of people,” he said. “We are not in a great neighborhood but a lot of people here at night; all these things that they are doing helps protect young people.”
Edna Wanene, also a student, says she wants to see more lights around campus.
“It’s really uncomfortable walking at night time, especially on the dark side of campus because there’s no light or anything,” she said.
Doyle hopes the improvements will help students focus more on education instead of their safety.
“I think it’s going to help focus more on education and learning when students come to our campus,” he said. “That’s their primary focus. Allowing us to have these conversations these new technologies allows them to take off the weight of other things they should not have to worry about.”
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