FORT MYERS, Fla.- A new emergency alert system is being installed on every faculty and staff members’ computer at Florida Gulf Coast University for added security across the campus.
The University Police Department received multiple requests for personal panic alarms from faculty and staff to use in the case of an emergency, such as an active shooting. By the end of the month, software that essentially turns all faculty and staff computers into an alarm will be activated.
“I think what everybody thinks of these days are acts of violence on campus whether it’s an active shooter or it could be anything else,” said FGCU Police Chief Steven Moore.
With the alert system, every professor will have a key on their keyboard designated as their alert button and every classroom podium will have the button as well. In the case of an emergency, they can quietly press the button that sends a message directly to police with the building and room number.
Moore says police will not know why the button was pressed until they arrive at the scene. Faculty and staff are being trained to only use the button in an extreme case.
“In some buildings, the cell phones don’t work that great. Again because of all the concrete and steel, so some classrooms cellphone reception is fine and in others it’s not,” Moore said. “This just provides another level of getting emergency help to the classroom.”
Students agree, saying they feel safe on campus but the added alert system will only help in a bad situation.
“It definitely would make me feel a lot safer in the classroom if I knew that police were being contacted without causing a big panic,” said Alexis Butt.
“I feel like it’s the same way with these blue buttons, they don’t know what’s happening, they just know to come,” said Sydney Parsons. “It does give you that sense of security as a student.”