More substations in the works, says DPS chief
The Department of Public Safety unveiled a brand new substation to the campus Nov. 13, located on the ground level of Stabler Hall. However, Chief Edward L. Smith said this substation is but the first of several more substations to come.
“We’re looking at another space,” Smith said. “In fact, it was one of the first spaces we looked at and it’s still, hopefully, a possibility.”
Smith said the area between the campus bookstore and the aquatics center inside the Donaghey Student Center was also among the places DPS considered when searching for suitable location to install a substation.
“Dave Millay of Facilities Maintenance,” Smith said, “actually got some architects to take a look at what it might take to [utilize] that space and it was going to take some capital expenditure to do that. That is still out there on the table, but it’s probably going to have to be done in the next fiscal year.”
Smith said he hopes to add another substation (in addition to the recently opened Stabler location and the possible DSC substation) near the area in which the residence halls are located.
But, until DPS has the capital and location, all eyes will be on the Stabler substation to see how efficiently it operates.
Smith said the location will be used as the office of Jennifer Sibley, the crime prevention officer. The bicycle patrol will be housed in the new facility and, while they are being tested, the new Segway vehicles.
The substation will also provide a means for officers to get to a response location in a more expeditious manner, Smith said.
Smith said the new substation can be used as an area where officers can take a break while on patrol, but he encourages his team to be in the DSC when they’d like to take a break for a few minutes.
Being in the DSC instead of the substation will, over time, Smith said, create a more friendly atmosphere between students and officers. He said he hopes it will generate feelings of easiness instead of feelings of nervousness upon seeing a patrolling officer.
The grand opening of the new Stabler substation included tours of the new facility, snacks, information pamphlets, free whistle/light keychains and optional rides on a Segway. Smith, Sibley and several officers were on hand to answer any questions students, faculty and staff had about the new facility or about DPS.
The new substation, located in room 105 of Stabler Hall, will be manned 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.