Procedure for emergency calls on campus to change


Sierra Gray

The Missouri Southern campus police department is located on the far west side of campus. 

Jack Girard

The Southern police station has instituted a new call protocol effective next semester. Calls for emergency services like sick students or theft would be called into 911 which will dispatch Southern police from the Joplin Police Department Dispatch. Calls for maintenance and keys locked in the car would be called in to the Southern police phone number.

“The only thing that’s going to change is if we have some kind of emergency or basically 911, it will go to Joplin to dispatch officers,” said UPD Lead Dispatcher Diana Rearrick. “Dispatch here isn’t going to change. We still have other things going on that are not related to somebody being sick or 911.”

The UPD found that students called 911 before they called the Southern police number regardless of the situation, so the decision was made to cross over to a system that fits that pattern. The University Police Department is already in alliance with JPD and surrounding police departments. Southern police have already moved to the same radio station in preparation for the new system.

Given there is no dispatcher stationed on campus at night, calls had previously been forwarded to police cell phone. The Southern police would often be investigating basements or other areas with bad service, resulting in missed calls. Several service calls were recorded as missed weekly. Due to those issues and a number of complaints, the system was labelled out of date. The system has existed since Southern had only a non-police security team in 2001.

“I think that’s good because the last thing someone wants to do in an emergency is call someone that might not pick up … f they’re in a basement, you’re not getting any services, if something bad happens, you need emergency services,” said John Seitz, mass communications junior.