Pitt police lieutenant updates community on safety measures

In the wake of incidents on campus last semester, including a shooting hoax at Hillman Library, the University has put in place multiple new safety measures for students and staff to use when necessary. 

From panic buttons in classrooms to new trainings for ENS officials, Pitt police lieutenant Bradley Kiefer emphasized the importance of listening to the community’s concerns and adapting policies as a result. 

“We’ve definitely heard those concerns and are taking them seriously and implementing changes, which included additional training for communication specialists,” Kiefer said. “ENS will be sending out alerts and messages in a more timely manner.” 

Kiefer said for the most up-to-date information on Pitt’s public safety policies, visit the Pitt health and safety page and emergency page. More information on panic buttons, safety videos and other general information can be found on the emergency page, which Kiefer said is “a good home base.”

“There’s a video about 30 to 40 minutes long, and it includes all the new safety videos,” Kiefer said. “It includes different videos on how to safely evacuate a building, fire emergencies, lockdowns and what to do in a lockdown situation versus the shelter in place.”

The University is currently updating its remote locks for classrooms, which can be controlled remotely from police headquarters. 

“The perimeter doors of nearly every university on-campus building can be locked electronically from the communication center,” Kiefer said. “Internally, inside buildings, the percentage of electronics increased. It goes hand-in-hand with the panic buttons because each panic button individually locks that specific door.” 

Kiefer also mentioned the RAVE Guardian app, which is available to all community members to use. RAVE gives users the option to appoint a guardian that tracks their walk if they are alone or generally want to feel safer. 

“The app is something separate that you can download for free through the Pitt App Center,” Kiefer said. “You can set a safety timer for walking from point A to point B, and if you don’t get back there [within the allotted time], the guardian gets a ping and can contact the Pitt police and say you haven’t arrived yet.” 

Pitt faculty was trained on the new safety policies before the fall semester began, and Kiefer said they are emphasizing the importance of students being aware of their surroundings, especially in class. 

“The registrar’s office sent out communications to all faculty members, including sheets, videos and more information on how to use panic buttons within the classroom,” Kiefer said. “With incoming students and freshmen, we’ve also put out information regarding students becoming familiar with their classrooms. When you enter the classroom, become familiar with the safety protocols and procedures.”


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