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Central Michigan University access control

Central Michigan upgrades security with new readers, cameras, and drones

Multi-year project began following an on-campus shooting in 2018

CampusIDNews Staff   ||   Sep 06, 2023  ||   ,

Following a 2018 on-campus shooting that resulted in two deaths, Central Michigan University (CMU) has been steadily reviewing and adding security measures. Improvements include additional cameras, access control upgrades, and even drones.

According to a university report, a steering committee from CMU Police, Facilities Management, IT, and Academic Administration worked with external consultants to plan the project.

The tragedy allowed us to learn a lot about our security systems and where we could improve

CMU Police Lt. Mike Sienkiewicz told WNEM news about the progress in an on-camera interview. He was on campus when a CMU student shot and killed his parents inside a residence hall.

“(The tragedy) allowed us to learn a lot about the security systems … and where we could improve,” he says.

One area that the institution has focused on is adding additional video surveillance cameras. Today, 1300 cameras monitor indoor and outdoor spaces, and about half of the outdoor areas on campus are now covered.

In recent years, there have been access control upgrades and additions at numerous buildings throughout campus. According to the university, readers were added at four academic buildings prior to the start of the Fall 2023 term and there are plans to equip at least seven additional buildings throughout the year.

Students and staff use contactless cards or mobile credentials from partner Transact for secure access to these facilities.

All residence halls and many other buildings have an automatic lockdown feature that enables security personnel to lock all doors with a single button.

“We tested it a couple of weeks ago and it was instant,” Sienkiewicz says. “And we know that seconds count in an emergency.”

CMU also relies on drones to provide an aerial view during large events or critical incidents. While they are not used for day to day operations, they provide unique visibility in crucial situations.

Sienkiewicz stresses that CMU works with other law enforcement agencies and first responders to ensure the best response.

“When something bad has happened, nobody cares what the uniform is,” he says. “They just want somebody to come in and help keep them safe.”

Check out the video interview at WNWM.

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