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New emergency phone system installed at police headquarters

A new emergency telephone system with a computer interface has been installed at Campus Police headquarters in W31 to improve safety.

Now, when someone dials 100 (the MIT emergency number) or uses one of the blue energency phones which automatically connect to the police, the following information will be displayed on the dispatcher's screen at headquarters:

  • The phone number from which the call is made.
  • All locations associated with the number.
  • The date and time of the call.

The system works with any ISDN telephone that is part of the campus system, including hallway phones (but not pay phones) and the emergency phones located in the parking garages and at several outdoor points on campus.

Some telephones on campus have both a primary number and a secondary number. A secondary number is an additional number assigned to a phone or a number shared with other phones. When a "100" call is made from a campus phone, the system will display all the information associated with the phone used to make the call. For example, if a caller uses a secondary number to place an emergency call, all the locations associated with that number are displayed. This improves the ability of Campus Police to respond in cases where callers cannot identify their location.

Campus Police worked with programmers and telecommunications specialists from Information Systems on the project.

"This is essentially a campus version of the `enhanced 911' system which is being established in cities and towns throughout the Commonwealth," said Police Chief Anne P. Glavin. "We are very pleased to have increased our ability to deal with emergency response."

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on December 6, 1995.

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