Phones Enhance Campus Safety
is hard to overlook the 17 blue pillars that are scattered throughout
Northern's campus. The university has installed these Code Blue
phones to offer more security to students, employees and visitors.
case of an emergency, a person can push the red 911 button, which
immediately dials into Public Safety dispatch. For those on campus
after dark, the Code Blue keypads can be used to request a Public
Safety escort to and from any campus location. They can also be
used to contact a roommate, friend or co-worker to meet them or
walk with them if they feel the need.
feature is a keyboard with a black call button that can be used
as a campus courtesy phone,” said Kim Erickson
(Adit Techincal Services). “We like to see them being used.”
Code Blue phones cost about $7,800 each, not including installation
and maintenance. They are not a requirement on college campuses,
but because safety is an important consideration for students and
their parents, a number of schools have installed them. Don
Peterman (Public Safety and Police Services) said their
multifunctional capability and their potential to assist in an emergency
make them invaluable.
the Code Blue phones help just one person, it is well worth the
cost," he added. "You can't put a price tag on a person.
The phones can also work as a deterrent to criminal activity because
if someone is seen committing a crime, the witness can activate
the emergency phone requesting the police, which in turn will have
an immediate response. The phones have helped make Northern’s campus
more secure, and they have made life easier for everybody,” Peterman
every time a new building, parking lot or other construction is
planned, NMU’s Engineering department and Public Safety determine
where a Code Blue phone is needed.
past summer, we added a phone in lot 62, in lot 28, and on the north
side of Art and Design,” said Jim Thams (Engineering
addition, there has been one case in which students requested a
Code Blue phone be installed in a parking lot that they were temporarily
assigned to because of a construction project that impacted their
usual parking lot.
got together and requested the phone due to the distance they were
walking from lot 12 to Spooner Hall," Peterman said. "The
request was looked at by engineering and planning and the phone
was provided and the students were happy.”
though the phones can be helpful in emergencies, Peterman warned
that people should not be lulled into a false sense of security.
He said Northern has a relatively safe campus environment, but it
is still important to be aware of one's surroundings and to take
steps to reduce potential risks.
should not have a misconception and think because there is a blue
light phone, I’m safe no matter what," Peterman said. "If
you can't get to the phone to activate it and no one else is around,
chances are no one will be able to come and help you. It's always
safer to walk with friends or colleagues."