Yuba College heeds safety call
January 19, 2006 - Students wondering about those strange silver and yellow boxes posted at various locations around the Yuba College campus can rest easy.
The six new additions to the school - which popped up during winter break - are emergency call boxes.
“Students can call from any of the six boxes on campus and the call is routed directly to the (campus) officer-on-duty's walkie-talkie,” said Miriam Root, public information officer for college. “The officer can tell, right on his radio, which call box the call is coming from.”
The boxes were purchased from Delta Wireless in part with the same funds that went to repaving the west parking lot, Root said, as well as with some unrestricted general funds. The total was between $10,000 and $11,000.
Root said the cost included the installation of a repeater, which enhances the boxes' reception. The reception was poor due to the surrounding concrete buildings.
“This is just another tool for officers to have to respond to emergencies in a timely manner,” she said.
The idea of the call boxes stemmed from adjunct, or part-time faculty, who worked primarily in the evenings and on weekends.
“The outpouring from these meetings was safety features for staff, visitors and students,” Root explained.
The boxes are much like an intercom. Each one is noted by a large fluorescent sign above the box. The caller simply presses a button and talks into a speaker. The call is routed to every officer in the campus police office, carrying a radio or in a police vehicle.
“It goes to all the officers with radios, and they can pinpoint exactly where the call is coming from,” Root said.
There are three boxes in the west parking lot, one in the east lot, one adjacent to the library, one in the physical education area and one near the theater.
“We hope to install more, depending on the availability of funds,” Root said. “Woodland is getting four in about a month.”
The Clear Lake campus was small enough that it was determined call boxes were not needed. However, Root said, the officers there got new handheld radios.
“We're really striving to make our campuses a safe environment for all students, staff and visitors,” Root said. “By installing these call boxes, it should alleviate any sort of concerns anybody might have about Yuba College campus safety.”
Appeal-Democrat reporter Kymm Mann can be reached at 749-4708. You may e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.