Eastern Kentucky College Seeking Homeland Security Grant

By: Dara Rees Email
By: Dara Rees Email

Officials at one eastern Kentucky college applied for a $140,000 grant in hopes of making their campus even safer.

Officials at Union College in Barbourville say for the most part, students already feel safe on campus.

But in light of recent events on campus and nationwide, the school's President Ed Derosset says new homeland security funding would improve the security they already have.

Better lighting and more surveillance cameras are a few things Union College hopes to add to its campus through the grant.

“It allows us to do that in a way that also supports the community and shares resources with the community. So that seemed like a natural partnership and something Union was always interested in doing,” says Brenna Wallhausser, Director of College Communications.

In April, a female student was approached by two strangers after dark. Luckily no one was hurt.

“Situations like that they are very very rare, for our students and on campus in particular, but no one should be fully sitting on the position that this couldn't occur,” says Ed DeRosset, Union College President.

School officials say they starting planning to improve security long before the incident in April.

“I think it was Virginia Tech that opened everyone's eyes. We all had plans in place, we like most places had plans in place, but it made us very interested in revisiting them just to make sure that our plans were up to date,” says Wallhausser.

“We want to add to and just continue to have better individual control and I think all those things really do conspire to help students feel safer,” says DeRosset

DeRosett also hopes to add more emergency phones like this one to areas across campus.

“A person can go up to it, there will be a video image taken of that person calling. It will go to safety and if no answer there it will roll over automatically to 911,” says DeRosset.

Officials also hope to add more secure locks to all doors that would allow for an electronic lockdown across campus.

In addition to campus wide e-mail and text message alerts, Union College has speakers above the chapel to alert the campus and nearby community in the event of an emergency.

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