NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Students at Norfolk State University may notice some changes on campus this year that make them feel a little more secure. The school is making changes to increase safety.
Sixty emergency call boxes will grace NSU’s campus, doubling the number of the devices since last year.
“The new units are handicapped accessible and they also have features that include a camera, as well as a communications system that includes an emergency horn, as well as a voice application where announcements can be made through the phone,” said NSU Vice President of Finance, Gerald Hunter.
Hunter said the university takes safety seriously and wants students to do the same.
“Most importantly, if they see something, say something. If everyone reports what they see, that will go a long way in helping us offset any issues on campus,” he said.
Hunter said the biggest crime on campus to date is thefts.
“I think the increase in those crimes has to do with the increased use of technology,” he said. “All students have phones. There’s all kinds of devices they now carry, and those have become targets for thefts.”
NSU has hired extra police officers, bringing that number to 25, and students can expect to see stepped up patrols with vehicles, on bikes and on foot he said.
“One of the reasons we’ve increased foot patrols is we believe increased visibility should help us offset that increase in crime,” Hunter said.
Extra surveillance cameras are in place as well. Sgt. Robbie Parker of the NSU Police Department told us, “additional cameras, surveillance cameras, here on campus, to give us access to view incidents that may occur you know on campus.”
She said students and staff are also provided with safety tips.
The University has also formed partnerships with local police and civic organizations to help with safety and security around and on campus. NSU has also upgraded its fire alarms, call centers and plans to make a safety smartphone app available in the spring.