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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Bluelight Phones light the way

Bill Mason, Cat Tran Driver (Brown hair) Dennis Cady, Cat Tran Driver (black and white striped shirt) AJ Dowgiert, Cat Tran Driver (Plaid/Checkered Shirt)

The motto for campus safety at the UA is, “If you see something, say something.”

It proved to be effective after a June 12 incident when two female students were separately confronted by an unknown man on campus. According to a release sent out by the University of Arizona Police Department, in each incident the man attempted to persuade the students to enter his car. Both students were able to escape and report the incident to UAPD.

On June 17, five days later, UAPD detectives arrested a man by the name of Henry Yanez III for one count of misdemeanor assault for trying to lure the two women into his vehicle.

“First and foremost, it’s incredibly important to be aware of your surroundings while on campus,” said Officer Joe Bermudez, UAPD crime prevention specialist. He added that it’s important to know where the 911 Emergency Bluelight Phones are located.

Bluelight phones are one of the many resources students have on campus to help ensure their safety. If students feel unsafe or in danger they can alert UAPD by pressing the button on the pole, which transmits students’ location. If needed, students can advance to the next pole and press that button so UAPD can track students’ movements.

According to Officer Bermudez, there are 230 of these phones on campus, and each has been strategically located near parking garages and street corners to provide easy access for any student who needs help.

“We would rather go out to a location and find out that nothing had occurred than hear, later on, that a student was harmed in any way,” Officer Bermudez said. It’s better to be safe than sorry when dealing with campus safety and the safety of fellow Wildcats.

“The biggest piece of advice I can give is to trust your instincts,” said Alyssa Morales, a history junior. “You can never be too cautious.”

According to Morales, walking at night on campus can be quite scary, but walking with someone, sticking to the main, well-lit roads and limiting distractions can help.

By acknowledging surroundings, following basic safety tips and making sure personal possessions are secure, students can safely enjoy the amenities around campus.

The UA is always focused on ensuring the safety of its students. In 2013, the Arizona Board of Regents created the Student Safety Task Force. The task force is made up of UA students, board members and even members of the Tucson community. They meet and discuss topics ranging from prevention of alcohol abuse to the safety of the streetcar and have made numerous recommendations for improvements.

In March, the UA launched a new app called LiveSafe.

“LiveSafe allows students to access a multitude of safety information regarding emergency procedures, campus resources and many other safety tips,” Officer Bermudez said.

Students can not only access information via the app, but they can also report non-emergency incidents by sending a picture, a text or a voice recording to UAPD dispatch.

The most unique feature of LiveSafe is SafeWalk.

“[SafeWalk] allows a friends to track your movement from point A to point B,” Officer Bermudez said. “If you’re walking home from the Library at 1 a.m. to your dorm room, you can request and notify your friend to watch you, and they can watch your icon move on their phone as you walk.”

The UAPD has embraced technology that will promote student safety for many years to come. 

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