Ark. Tech sees $1 million in security upgrades

    10:39 PM, Jan 13, 2013   |    comments
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    Photo: Lauren Scott/THV 11 News

    RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. (KTHV) -- The school shooting in Connecticut not only took lives, it took a sense of security from many school employees and students.

    Schools and colleges are doing what they can to make sure their campuses stay safe.

    Arkansas Tech University spent more than a million dollars over the past year and a half in adding safety features. Their new semester starts Monday.

    "I've been going to Ozark Tech for two years and I just transferred here, I've been here since Thursday," says Tyler Drain. "I really like the fact that there's so much lighting out there at night and stuff. I love going on walks and I guess you wouldn't think of a guy being nervous about that stuff but I do get nervous about walking alone at night."

    And it's more than just the lights; they also have 22 emergency call stations all over the university. Those stations not only contact the university security officers, but 911 as well.

    Director of University Relations Sam Strasner says the school also installed pedestrian gates and electronic card key access to buildings so staff can lock up after 5 p.m.

    "Perhaps most importantly, we increased patrols with public safety officers throughout the day and evening including a new bicycle patrol program," says Strasner.

    The school is also adding cameras so if any crime happens, they can catch the suspects in the act. They are also having officers available 24/7.

    The school also has a "Tech Safety Transportation System." Each night if you have to walk across campus to class you can call the public safety office and get a free escort.

    It's those additions that keep Drain feeling secure, so he can focus on school and not worry about the "what if."

    "I like being able to know that if I need someone, they will be there for me and I can rely on that," says Drain.

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