T-Sgt. Nate Leonard, Columnist
Last week I gave you a brief overview of our department and how one becomes a member of our department. This week I thought I would let everyone know about some of the services the SUNY Oneonta University Police Department offers on a day to day basis. We are much more than a full-time, full-service police department. We offer many services that may benefit you and make your stay here on campus safe.
First, I would like to inform you about the escort service and the blue lights on campus. If you are ever needing to walk anywhere on campus between dusk and dawn and you don’t feel safe about walking alone you can call UPD. The Student Association pays students to work out of the UPD office to provide these safety escorts. If there is no student escort working at the time you call, one of the members of the UPD will provide you with an escort. This may be your chance, and hopefully your only chance, to ride in the back of a police car! Many times we have officers assigned to foot patrol and bike patrol so you may also be escorted on foot to your location. I’m sure you have noticed all of the blue poles scattered about campus with the blue lights on top of them. These are referred to as our blue phones. At any time, day or night, you can push the red button on these poles to report an emergency. Once you push the button, there will be a direct line to the university police dispatch, which will also show us the exact location of the phone activated. You will then be able to relay your emergency to the dispatcher. If, for some reason, the dispatcher does not hear anyone talking on the other end of the line, a patrol will be dispatched immediately to the location of the blue phone. Please keep in mind that these are for emergency use only and are provided for your safety.
On a daily basis there are potentially thousands of vehicles that travel on this campus. When you have that many vehicles you can almost guarantee there will be some problems with them. This brings me to a couple of the other services we provide. There may be times when you are running a little late to class or work and you accidentally lock your keys in your car or leave your lights on and kill your battery. Don’t worry because UPD can help you out with that too! Give us a call and we can send an officer to your location with a special tool kit to unlock your car for you so you can retrieve your keys. If you have a dead battery, come to our office in Alumni Hall and we can give you a jump start pack that will jumpstart your car without needing a second car. When in doubt, give us a call because chances are we can help you out, or at least point you in the right direction to get help.