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Blue lights add to security

Kat Simonelli
Metro Editor

Campus Safety worked in conjunction with Capital Planning to add Wide Area Emergency Broadcast System towers to the La Verne campus, adding to the numerous ways they help to keep La Verne safe.

The towers, also called WEBS or blue lights, provide students with the opportunity to be in immediate contact with Campus Safety in the event of an emergency.

“We did a study from different universities and most of them in the area have the blue lights and it seemed like a really good program to get involved with,” capital planning project manager Larry Pirkle said.

“It gives the students peace of mind, and more importantly, the parents a peace of mind that their kids are safe,” he said.

Though logical thinkers may point out that a large portion of the students on campus have cell phones and can use them to dial 911 in the event of an emergency, Director of Campus Safety and Transportation Stanley Skipworth explained that cell phones tend to be unreliable.

Dead batteries, bad signals and lock codes can get in the way and hinder a student’s ability to get in contact with someone who can help them.

With the new emergency towers, these problems no longer have to have a place in student’s minds.

“They don’t have to worry about if their battery is sufficiently charged, if they’ve got enough reception, if they’re afraid of dropping calls, if they can’t get through their lock code on their phone, you name it – and so that’s why it’s important that we have those more immediately accessible,” Skipworth said.

“They ring straight to us, that gets us in the right position to respond more immediately without the opportunity for cell phones to hinder emergency help.”

While some campuses were pulling their WEBS towers out due to the popularity of cell phones, La Verne decided to launch the program. “I think that it’s worth it,” Chip West, assistant vice president facilities and space management at capital planning said.

“Having them gives a sense of security, even just seeing them, even if they aren’t used, and we felt that even if they never get used, what’s the harm in putting them in and making people feel even more safe,” West said.

“You hit the button, we’re going to answer that, we know where you are going to be, were going to come to you, find out what the problem is and well help take care of the problem. That’s the goal,” Skipworth said.

The WEBS towers can be found near Woody Hall, Dailey Theatre, parking lot D, parking lot E, the area between the Arts and Communications Building and The Oaks, the shuttle lot and three will be installed on Campus West in the future.

Kat Simonelli can be reached at kathryn.simonelli@laverne.edu.

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