When a student feels unsafe or threatened on a college campus there is be a blue light at the end of the tunnel.
The Robert Morris University campus is covered in 11 Blue Light Emergency Phones. The locations of the lights can be seen here.
“Campus blue light emergency phones are a crime deterrent because they are highly visible and easy to access. The phones provide peace of mind for parents, students, employees and visitors on campus,” according to the Rath Security website, one of the multiple companies who make these types of phones.
These phones are located in areas that have the potential to be unsafe such as parking lots and desolated areas. In the case of an emergency, the person in need simply needs to hit the red emergency button located on the front of the light. There is also an information located on the panel of the phone.
“There will be an information (button) and there’s a red one, that’s like an emergency one. And once you click that, it will come up and it will tell us what code blue it is,” said Detective Scott Page. “So it could be ‘code blue activated in upper Massey.’ And that’s where we know that it is. And an information button will just come to our phone and they can just talk to us like normal.”
According to the police department, these lights are not frequently used.
“We had one up in Massey, she was uncomfortable or something like that. She hit it. And that was years ago,” said Page.
The lights were tested regularly until recently when they have been able to self-test. Since the phones are connected with the phone lines, sometimes the officers will check the phones themselves to make sure they are still working.
“We’ll have somebody play around and hit them (the button),” said Lieutenant Charles Spencer.
With cell phones now in the hands of students and faculty, many have wondered how effective these lights can be. Page believes they are still useful in certain cases.
“I think they’re a good tool to have if you’re out in a parking lot or you’re having some kind of emergency issue. Because you don’t have to try to dial and call someone,” said Page. “As long as you can make it to that (emergency light) and then hit the button.”