KSU Police Department offers new alert system

Kiera Manion-Fischer

The Kent State Police Department started a project to install a public address system that will broadcast voice messages directly from the dispatcher in the event of an emergency.

Dean Tondiglia, associate director of public safety, said small black boxes called alert monitors that receive messages during emergencies are already in place in every campus building.

With the current system, someone is in charge of passing on any emergency messages to the rest of the building. Soon, the alert monitors will be connected to speakers so that the general public can hear the messages.

Tondiglia said the new system will eliminate the middleman.

“Virginia Tech caused us to review our system and see how we can improve,” he said.

He said the messages broadcasted have generally been severe weather warnings, but the system can be used for any message, such as evacuation warnings.

John Peach, Kent State police chief, said other ways of alerting the public, such as FlashAlerts, the text messaging system and the University’s Web site, are already in place.

The alert monitors will be connected to some of the existing fire alarms that are able to broadcast voice messages. More speakers will be added.

Jerry Eveleth, assistant director for engineering in the Office of the University Architect, is overseeing the project.

He said the public address system is now being tested in four buildings: Dunbar, Nixson, Stopher and Johnson halls.

By the beginning of next fall, the system should be ready in all the residence halls and a majority of the academic buildings, Eveleth said. Also, there will be a few outdoor speakers.

Contact safety reporter Kiera Manion-Fischer at [email protected].