Talk-A-Phone emergency phone tower

After another school’s tragedy, Virginia Western Community College implemented Talk-A-Phone’s Emergency Phone Towers to increase safety and reassure students.

Virginia Western Community College Chief of Police, Craig Harris, is always looking for ways to improve safety and security on campus. Like many educational institutions around the country, Harris thought it was essential to retool his campus’s public safety plans after the tragic events at Virginia Tech. Harris explained that communication with students is essential and that Talk-A-Phone’s Emergency Phone Towers are a cornerstone to that connection.

“When Virginia Tech happened, it brought everyone to the table and made everyone realize that something certainly needed to be done,” Harris says. “The goal was to have [emergency phone towers] available to students if they needed them. We wanted to make them visible so that if there was an issue on campus, a student could turn around, look for the big red pole and run to it.”

Painted bright red and standing nearly 9.5 ft. tall, the Talk-A-Phone Emergency Phone Towers are hard to miss for any student, faculty or visitor at Virginia Western Community College. “I never used to see these around campus, but all of a sudden I started seeing them everywhere,” says Hannah Oaks, student at the College. “They’re in so many places. I feel a lot safer at night because if there is an emergency I can run to the tower and activate it.”

The placement and visibility of the Talk-A-Phone Emergency Phone Towers can help change campus culture by not only ensuring safety, but by letting students know the campus is safer. The Talk-A-Phone Emergency Phone Towers have been a successful addition to the Virginia Western Community College campus. “The safety of the students is paramount,” Harris says. “Academics are important, but without a safe campus academics mean nothing.”