University of Memphis Strengthens Building Security

University of Memphis Strengthens Building Security

The University of Memphis is changing the way their students enter campus buildings. Scores of exterior doors are being replaced by new electronic doors that are centrally controlled by a locking system.

Authorities on campus believe it is time for the change based on the current environment.

"Because parents years ago would ask questions about alcohol and sexual assaults, and, well, now they have added to that questions about emergency preparedness. From severe weather to what would we do in the event of having an armed intruder on campus,'' Bruce Harbor, campus chief of police and vice president for administration, told The Commercial Appeal.

The new doors will allow the security teams to lock and unlock the doors on a specific time frame. After-hours, students will be able to let themselves in using their student ID cards.

In addition to the locking schedule, the security team will also be notified if a door has been propped open. Using this tool, students and faculty can feel safe knowing the whole perimeter of their building is secure.

The new security system for the doors totals about $1.75 million. The project is being installed in phases, and is currently in Phase 2 as the administration tries to establish after-hour access to all education and general-use buildings.

The university’s focus on security will shift this summer to the interior of the buildings when they begin to replace the doors to classrooms. A common locking system will be installed on the interior doors that allow them to be locked while opened and closed quickly.

While no current incident has triggered the changes, the administration believes it is time for an update as most of the buildings on campus were constructed in the 1960s.

About the Author

Sydny Shepard is the Executive Editor of Campus Security & Life Safety.

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