Gone are the days of “Fordham Security.” Now, the department is titled “Public Safety.”
According to John Carroll, vice president of Public Safety, this name change is meant to be more inclusive of the department’s responsibilities. Public Safety, while its main goal is still to ensure the security of students, also deals with fire emergencies, environmental issues and other areas of students’ concerns.
Carroll and his staff feel the name Public Safety represents their work more accurately.
Whatever its name may be, the department’s main goal over the summer was to improve its use of technology.
The main addition was the use of ID cards that students must have in order to get onto campus; students are now required to scan their IDs at all of the entrances, which brings their picture up on screen. The guards no longer have to rely on their own facial recognition skills, but rather on the computer model which lets them know not only who is swiping, but also whether the card is active or not.
“It’s more effective — if the ID gets taken, and they try to swipe, we can get it back,” said Carroll.
If a student cancels his or her ID and someone else attempts to use it, the screen lights up red, alerting the guard.
Public Safety is also hoping to clear up motor vehicle traffic as well. According to Carroll, students who purchase either a daily or overnight pass receive an electronic button that they place on the windshield of their car. This button then has the ability to open the new gate located at Fordham’s main entrance.
As an email to students states, “an automatic parking arm has been installed…[and] will be operated using the authorized electronic parking system.”
This will free up traffic for frequent users as other drivers, including part time and guest drivers, must go to the guardhouse at the main entrance.
Other vehicles around Fordham, including the on-and-off campus shuttle, have an upgrade of their own: Trans-loc, an app students can use to track the shuttles’ locations. Carroll stressed the importance of this, especially in regard to the off-campus shuttle.
“You don’t have to wait on a street corner, just use the app,” Carroll said.
The Trans-loc app allows “the user to see where a particular shuttle is in relation to their current location,” according to an email from Public Safety.
“The main goal of all we do is to keep the students safe,” Carroll added.
This is why his department, along with utilizing the off-campus shuttle, is in the process of installing a texting app. Carroll warned that he does not want people to rely on this alone, and to still call security if there is an issue, but that is one of many options.
According to Public Safety, “the app will allow the user to send pre-formatted texts for help, a free-form text for help or push a button to send the user’s location to the Department of Public Safety.”
Kelly Kultys is the Editor-in-Chief for The Fordham Ram.