Missouri Western’s emergency phone beacons are to be removed from campus due to the lack of use and hefty cost of repairing the phones. The cost to repair the emergency phones would be near $100,000 and would cost $5,600 in annual operations per phone unit.
The emergency phones in the parking lots on campus are now removed. The remaining phones are in the process of being removed and should be completely removed by Monday, Oct. 16.
The cost to fix the emergency phones would be in the thousands and would involve digging up the parking lots around campus to put in new Ethernet cables.
The phones reportedly were used twice in the last seven years.
Timothy Kissock, risk manager at Western, said the phones being removed is partially due to their lack of use due to cell phones being popular.
“It’s quite expensive to fix them and when we look back on it, very few people used those last year. The decision was–they outlived their usefulness [because] now everyone has cell phones,” Kissock said. “People just weren’t using them. It would cost a lot to fix them and it’s an old technology to fix.”
Western without emergency phones could put some at unease. Kissock doesn’t think that students should worry about being less safe without the emergency phones.
“When you throw into the mix how often they were used and how we don’t have a lot of random crime on campus anyway, I don’t think you’re going to see a small problem because they aren’t there,” Kissock said. “I never want to say that they couldn’t be used or they wouldn’t be used because you don’t know. I could say this and there’d be a situation next week where it would help something,” Kissock said.
Western is hoping to replace the emergency phones with a feature on their eventual smartphone app.
Shana Meyer, vice president of student affairs, said the app will most likely not be finished until the summer of 2018 and is not sure if there will be an emergency feature at all.
“There are different vendors that have proposed an app for Missouri Western and each vendor has different features. Some do [have an emergency feature], some do not,” Meyer said.
Students that feel unsafe can call the campus police department at 816-271-4438. There is a 24-hour police on campus and courtesy patrol available to students. The police department is located in Blum 201. To file a crime on campus either call the police department, visit their office or file it online.