As part of its work to improve safety and security on and off campus, Ohio State University has announced new surveillance upgrades, ongoing collaboration with local officials, and widespread availability of personal safety devices.
In a Health, Safety, and Well-being Update video on March 1, President Kristina M. Johnson said the university is installing surveillance cameras at the Ohio Union garages, as well as license plate reader cameras near the garages.
Working in tandem with the City of Columbus, there are already 30 license plate reader cameras in the University District, part of 60 expected for a new pilot program in the area in which much of the Buckeye community lives.
“We continue to closely monitor crime on and around campus and have increased police and security patrols on campus and in parking lots and garages,” Johnson said in the video. “The university and City of Columbus are in regular communication about crime and crime trends.”
Johnson recently shared the results of an outside, comprehensive review of the university’s expanded approach to off-campus safety. One of the recommendations was to install permanent, fixed lighting to replace the 20 mobile locations that dot the off-campus area. So far, the city has upgraded six of these with permanent LED fixtures, with more to come.
The report, from Security Risk Management Consultants, also noted the university’s work in offering free personal safety devices to students since last fall. These safety devices emit a piercing, loud noise and light up when activated, bringing immediate attention to the user.
The safety devices will now be available to all faculty and staff, including at the Wexner Medical Center, Johnson announced. More details on how to get them are forthcoming.
The president also encouraged students who qualify and have not already received a COVID-19 booster to get one before spring break. Boosters are now available at the student health center on the Columbus campus.
Lastly, Johnson acknowledged that cities across the country have removed mask requirements after the CDC’s updated mask guidance, and that the City of Columbus could soon follow. Ohio State leadership will continue to closely monitor the situation as protocols are considered.
Video and content courtesy of Ohio State News.