The University of North Georgia's Department of Public Safety has centralized emergency communications for all four campuses to its Communications Center to enhance response time and help officers deal with emergencies more efficiently.
The center is staffed 24 hours a day and receives all of the university's emergency communications through its location on the Dahlonega campus.
"By centralizing emergency communications, we now have a live person to answer the phones 24/7 for all campuses," Chief Michael Stapleton said. "In addition, we have a radio system that allows officers to be reached on each campus immediately and seamlessly. Also, protocols have been put in place with the 911 centers in each county to allow for the immediate flow of information between our communications center and 911 centers."
To assist officers and center personnel, the phone numbers each campus previously used to contact local officers have been forwarded to the communications center, a change made to allow for faster and more effective dispatch of emergency services and available officers.
"A central call station can more efficiently dispatch available officers, plus we have immediate access to county 911 centers if needed," said Officer Paul Bennett, who is the communications center supervisor. "We are also diligently monitoring campus fire alarms, so that if a fire occurs, we can immediately notify that community's fire department then dispatch our own officers to the scene."
Bennett added that UNG officers monitor emergency radio communications so they know immediately if an emergency in the vicinity of any UNG campus has been reported. Also, due to the distance between UNG's campuses, the center constantly monitors regional weather, and sends weather warning notifications to all UNG faculty, staff, and students as needed.
The UNG Department of Public Safety advises all university personnel to call 911 directly if there is an emergency requiring medical services or the fire department, followed by calling the UNG Department of Public Safety. If the emergency is not medical or fire-related, call the emergency number for your campus to be routed to the communications center.
Campus emergency numbers:
- Cumming: 470-239-3111
- Dahlonega: 706-864-1500
- Gainesville: 678-717-1777
- Oconee: 706-310-6206