New Safety Measures Implemented at UK

Contact: Kathy Johnson

 

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This new phone service is intended to complement the emergency phones located on campus and serve the many students and employees who own cell phones. The #UKPD (8573) will work as long as the cell phone plan is with one of the participating companies, even though many students have purchased their plans in their hometowns.

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 28, 2004) -- New measures are being implemented at the University of Kentucky in an effort to improve the safety and security of students, employees and visitors.

UK President Lee T. Todd Jr. today announced the establishment of a new, convenient cell phone number that can be used to contact the UK Police Department directly. He also announced the success of the expanded evening and late-night bus service on campus and praised the UK Police Department and the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government Division of Police for their partnership to increase police presence at the university and in nearby neighborhoods.

“As a public service, the six local cell phone companies have agreed to provide #UKPD (8573) as a quicker way to contact the UK Police Department from those cell phones,” Todd said.

“The companies whose cell phones can be used immediately for this purpose are Cingular, Sprint, Nextel and T-Mobile,” said Doyle Friskney, associate vice president for information technology. “Verizon Wireless and AT&T Wireless phones should be operational soon.”

This new phone service is intended to complement the emergency phones located on campus and serve the many students and employees who own cell phones. The #UKPD (8573) will work as long as the cell phone plan is with one of the participating companies, even though many students have purchased their plans in their hometowns.

While the number is not intended to replace dialing 911 in emergencies, it can be used to more readily contact UK Police in certain situations. Currently, when someone on campus dials 911 from a cell phone, that call goes directly to the Lexington Police emergency dispatcher who can either dispatch a Lexington Police officer to the scene or can contact UK Police to respond to the scene, depending on which agency could respond quicker. All 911 calls from wired phones with a UK prefix of 257 or 323 already go directly to the UK Police dispatcher.

In a further effort to meet the safety needs of the campus community, UK Parking and Transportation has expanded its free evening and late-night Campus Area Transportation Service, better known as the CATS bus service. Normally a Monday through Thursday service, CATS began offering transportation on an on-call basis on weekends beginning Friday, Jan. 23. The bus service is now available from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday and 7 p.m. to midnight on Sunday.

“The expanded CATS bus service was very successful for its first weekend of availability, receiving 75 calls and providing rides for more than 150 people,” Todd said. “This is an excellent complement to SafeCats, the safety escort service already provided by Student Government and the Air Force ROTC on campus.”

Todd also praised the “cooperation between UK and Lexington Police to improve patrols and law enforcement on campus and in surrounding neighborhoods.”

This week Todd issued a broadcast e-mail to students, employees and parents outlining other safety measures.

  • UK Police Department has three overlapping shifts of officers in patrol vehicles, on bicycles and on foot.
  • UK Police Department continues to issue campus-wide safety alerts to inform students and employees about the most recent criminal activity on campus.
  • A recently-installed card-access system is in place in each residence hall and appropriate check-in procedures are being followed.
  • The Office of Student Affairs is apprising all residents of residence halls and fraternity and sorority houses of safety and security advice.

“As a representative of the students at the University of Kentucky, I appreciate all the efforts the administration is making to ensure our safety,” said Rachel Watts, president of the UK Student Government.


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