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Campus Police Installs “Lockdown” Buttons in Dodds Hall

Amanda Arango, Contribut

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There has been talk around campus about special buttons in Dodds Hall that say “lockdown” on them. Sergeant Kevin Holster of Campus Police, the person who headed this project said, “the lockdown buttons are installed on classroom doors that have been switched over to Card Access. They give the occupants of the room the ability to lock the classroom door in the case of an emergency.”

Dodds Hall was the first building on campus to receive these lockdown buttons as an effort to improve security on campus, as the University has decided to incorporate card access into major renovation projects. The first and second floor were the most recently renovated and were the first classrooms to receive the card access upgrade, but it won’t stop there. Holster said that the lockdown buttons will be installed in classrooms as the card access system expands on campus.

It was found that after the installation of card access, the occupants of these classrooms no longer lock the classroom doors during use if it was electronically opened. Buttons were placed in these classrooms so that the card access would have the same ability to lock the door in case of an emergency as other classrooms do on campus with the manual push button locks.

“When the button gets pushed, it will electronically lock the door and prevent card access to the room by swipe card. Once fully functional and testing is completed, the buttons will also be programmed to set off an alert at the police department. Signage will be placed near the buttons explaining the use and function of the button and an email will be sent to the University community. The buttons are currently operational at this time,” Holster said.

As the progression of card access continues to grow on campus, more lockdown buttons will be installed to create a safer and more secure environment inside the classrooms, according to Campus Police. Even though they are not set into place yet, Holster said that, “the University of New Haven Police Department has the ability to remotely place all card access doors into lockdown in the event of an emergency. This will deactivate all card access swipe pads from general use and only allow emergency personnel with special permissions to swipe into a door by use of card access.”

Dodds Hall is the first, but not the last, of these installations and even though they are not set up all around campus yet, Campus Police is planning to move in that direction.

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Campus Police Installs “Lockdown” Buttons in Dodds Hall