Safe and Sound
The Rice University Police Department (RUPD) will soon add public address capabilities to the arsenal of weapons it uses to ensure campus safety. The PA system will be affixed to approximately 18 of the campus’s 54 emergency phones and will allow RUPD officers to alert the Rice community to environmental and other types of emergencies, including weather-related situations and fires.
The upgrade is part of a four-year initiative begun in 2006 to bring Rice’s emergency phones into compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), which was signed into law after the original phones were installed approximately 20 years ago. So far, 32 of Rice’s first-generation emergency phones have been replaced with their ADA-compliant counterparts, which also feature strobe lights that operate when the phone is activated. According to Facilities, Engineering and Planning Project Manager Bob Flumach, who has been working with Rice Chief of Police Bill Taylor on the emergency phone upgrades, the strobe light will alert other people in the area that an emergency has been reported and will also help guide security personnel to the location.
“The blue-light phones and public address–system upgrades are really high tech, and I’m very excited about them,” said Taylor. “The new technology truly brings Rice’s emergency phone system up to speed.”