Safety and Security Update on Ongoing Projects

Categories: General News

The Department of Safety and Security continues to assess and improve campus safety. While the University has many policies, processes and employees dedicated to making campus as safe as possible, there are a few recent and ongoing upgrades that are taking place to further support those efforts. Learn more about each project, office or concept below.

Security Cameras

Police and Public Safety are increasing their patrol reach through the installation and placement of security cameras and structures around main campus. This project focuses on three major efforts — monitoring common, high-traffic areas such as the Star Quad and Atkins Library, monitoring Lot 25 and the light rail, and monitoring parking decks.

As security cameras are being installed and tested, temporary mobile camera systems are in place. These include police towers with cameras, small-scale mobile systems and the addition of mobile Reconview systems, which stream live-view footage to the campus’s dispatch center. All camera footage can be monitored 24/7 by police dispatch.

Why is this necessary?
The goal of these installations is to significantly increase the overall monitoring of high-traffic areas and reduce any criminal or suspicious activities. Essentially, the goal is to provide a stable, safe environment for the campus community by providing proactive security measures.

What is the timeline?
While some testing is still ongoing, the project is complete.

Transition to card access

The Safety and Security team, including Police and Public Safety along with outside contractors, is working to replace physical locks on all classrooms and labs with card reader locks. This will replace the need for physical keys and provide card access security for these spaces.

Classroom and lab spaces on main campus are included in this project. Office spaces, dining areas and recreation areas will not be converted because the focus of this effort is adding locks to doors that previously could not be locked manually. The order of the building upgrades is determined by an analysis of typical student traffic within the building.

The following buildings will be upgraded to card reader access:
Belk Gymnasium, Bioinformatics, Cameron Hall, College of Health and Human Services, Colvard, Denny, Duke Centennial Hall, EPIC Building, Fretwell, Friday, Grigg Hall, Macy, McEniry, Mebane Hall, Memorial Hall, Robinson Hall, Rowe, Science Building, Smith, Storrs, Winningham and Woodward Hall
(Note: This list is not reflective of the order of building upgrades in this project.)

The locks will be set to be open during normal business hours, but afterward are card access only. If certain spaces need to be card access at all times, occupants will need to work with the Lock Shop in Facilities Management to gain access. This can be accomplished through an ARCHIBUS work order request.

Why is this necessary?
The goal of these improvements is to enhance campus safety and lockdown capabilities and improve access for everyone on campus, allowing Police and Public Safety to better protect the community and classroom and lab entities. Additionally, this change will allow better access for all students and employees to classrooms and labs.

These rooms would also lock when a lockdown is issued — as opposed to just the exterior doors locking. This would still allow egress, but no entry during an active lockdown. Additionally, it removes the need for the temporary lockdown kits previously installed. The kits will be removed once a room’s locks are converted to card access.

What is the timeline?
This endeavor is currently underway and will occur in phases. The transition of all applicable buildings is targeted for completion by the end of 2024.

Community Service Rangers

Police and Public Safety is hiring and training students to be Community Service Rangers. These students are non-sworn, non-armed rangers who work in teams to offer assistance to the campus community and visitors.

Why is this necessary?
The goal of the rangers is to help the campus community with any non-emergent inquiry or issue. This program helps students interested in law enforcement or similar career fields gain working experience by offering them a chance to observe and assist the campus community.

What is the timeline?
The ranger program began this semester. Students interested in becoming a Community Service Ranger should apply through the Hire-A-Niner website in early spring 2024 or contact Sergeant Jerry Lecomte at for more information.

Office of Threat Assessment and Management

The Office of Threat Assessment and Management aims to identify, investigate, assess and manage individuals of concern within the UNC Charlotte community who are demonstrating concerning behaviors or warning signs that indicate they may pose a threat to or commit an act of violent behavior against members of the University community.

Why is this necessary?
Previously, the University had separate reporting structures for students and employees to report concerning behaviors. The formation of this office is a central point of contact for reporting and represents a best practice for ensuring campus safety. Having one office to contact instead of an entity of offices yields more successful cases and keeps individuals from falling through the cracks with the changing of hands.

What is the timeline?
This office is fully established, and you can learn more about the office by reading this article and visiting the Threat Assessment and Management website.

Siren Upgrade

The existing outdoor sirens that are used during ongoing emergency events are being replaced with loudspeakers so that during an emergency a tone and speech will sound. The sirens will also be fully integrated into the NinerAlert system (they were previously an additional step to sound) so that when a NinerAlert is issued the sirens can be deployed simultaneously, as appropriate.

Why is this necessary?
Tornado sirens are not common in North Carolina, thus our community is not accustomed to what the tones mean. By switching to outdoor loudspeakers, emergency messages, which include action directives, can be broadcast to reinforce the other modes in which NinerAlerts are sent.

The full tie-in to the NinerAlerts software will also decrease deployment time of the sirens during an applicable emergency event. (Note: Not all emergency events or NinerAlert deployments include the sirens.)

What is the timeline?
This project is scheduled to be completed over the upcoming winter break and should be fully operational for the spring semester.

Wallis Breezeway Renovation

The walking breezeway within Wallis will soon be renovated to make it a controlled access area.

Why is this necessary?
This breezeway hosts a lot of traffic of people from the light rail entering campus for many reasons. This sometimes causes an issue of perceived safety. The renovation to a controlled breezeway should limit the external traffic that is entering the Popp Martin Student Union and beyond, while still maintaining an open access point for the campus community.

What is the timeline?
The renovation will occur over winter break and will be completed by the spring semester.