New security system in works at UK - WDRB 41 Louisville News

New security system in works at UK

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LEXINGTON, Ky (WDRB) -- The University of Kentucky plans to spend nearly $5 million to install a new comprehensive security system.

School officials say safety is their top priority and the upgrades will make their procedures more uniform.

The upgrades will eventually involve new cameras and new emergency boxes around campus but the first difference faculty, staff and students will notice is a new access control system through key cards.

"These cards will be the access point into buildings across campus. For instance, in the residence halls, you'll need this card to access not only the building but your individual room and other key rooms in the residence halls," said Jay Blanton, UK Spokesperson.

Blanton calls it a more coordinated approach to safety.

Until now, many buildings on campus had different security systems.

"It was sort of a combination of a swipe card to get into buildings and maybe keys to get into doors," he said.

The new system will be managed from the campus police department's communications center which is staffed 24 hours a day.

School officials say emergency management will improve with the campus on the same system.

WDRB asked if UK has had safety issues in the past.

"Every campus--this is like a big city. We've got 40 or 50,000 people on campus when people are here and campus is in session but we've been rated one of the top campus' for safety," Blanton told WDRB.

So if the campus is already safe, why spend nearly $5 million on upgrades?

"This is a safe place, a place where safety is a priority but our president says it needs to be even more of a priority and we need to find ways to enhance it," he said.

"I guess if it's for security reasons and securing the students on campus--that's part of their job so it's probably well worth it," said Allen Warford, a senior at UK.

Warford says he's happy the school is making the changes.

"I think a lot of older buildings that didn't have the security system could've used it in the past because I know a lot of buildings have been kind of unlocked a lot. I've heard stories where it's unsafe but I actually think it's a pretty safe place," Warford told WDRB.

School officials say the upgrades will come in phases, starting with those key cards.

Students have been notified via email of the changes.

Classes at UK start August 28th.

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