New phones help keep students safe - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

New phones help keep students safe

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July 20, 2004

Valdosta - Dipsy Gandhi is a typical college sophomore. "I go to the library late at night," said Gandhi. And like many students who live on campus, she usually walks back home without realizing the dangers she could face.

But now, if she's in a threatening situation, help is only a call away. "I feel safe now that if anything happens I have access to it," said Gandhi.

Fifteen new emergency phones are being installed around the Valdosta State University campus. By simply pressing the red button, students are immediately linked to campus police. "Even if the student doesn't know where they're located, we can find them," said Cpl. Dennis Nealon. And police will be there to help in no time. "On average I'd say within 45 seconds to a minute," said Nealon.

The old phones only stand about six feet tall and can be hard to spot, especially after dark. The new phones are three feet taller, they're a lot wider and brighter, and can be seen from several different parts of the campus. "As I was walking up here earlier I could see it from the University Union," said Nealon.

Many students didn't even know there were emergency phones on campus until the new ones were installed. "I got an email from a young lady saying it was a shame that this campus was so large and we only had two emergency phones and at the time we actually had 20 phones," said Nealon.

"I never knew we had phones at all but I can tell now because its bright and easy to notice," said Gandhi. And if she does find herself in harm's way, she'll know exactly where to turn for help.

posted at 3:50 P.M. by ashley.harper@walb.com