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Panic/Duress Alarms Procedure

Responsible Unit: University Police
Effective: March 1, 2018

Applicability and Accountability

These procedures and processes are applicable to all members of the University community and establishes University guidelines for panic/duress alarm installation and usage.

Statement of Purpose

The University utilizes panic/duress alarms in areas meeting a defined criteria to allow community members to contact the University Police Department via silent alarm. Those areas authorized panic/duress alarm installations must meet the defined criteria, participate in quarterly testing, annual training, and bi-annual review of conditions resulting in the installation.

Activation of a panic/duress alarm requires a law enforcement response. Unarmed, non-sworn personnel will not be dispatched.


Panic/Duress Alarm: A device installed in a concealed location and in select visible areas that notifies the University Police Department of a silent alarm activation on the central monitoring station.

Departments wishing to install panic alarms will submit a request to the University Police through a web form located on their website. The form will be reviewed by the police department based on criteria contained in this guideline.

Once approved, Information Technology Services (ITS) will provide the requestor a quote for equipment installation. All costs of equipment installation and maintenance are the responsibility of the requesting department.

Criteria for Consideration

Must be based upon objective threat assessment, such as, but not limited to, the following:

  • Drug dispensing
  • Mental health counseling
  • High volume cash collection points
  • High Profile Threat Locations
  • President’s Office
  • Provost’s Office
  • Dean of Students’ Office
  • Human Resources
  • Isolated, after hours operations with significant public contact
  • Previous incidents of actual acts of violence

High traffic areas do not automatically qualify absent additional threat assessment factors. There are multiple areas throughout the campus that deal with irate students, parents, or members of the public. Those areas with multiple faculty/staff present or within earshot may not warrant alarms absent additional threat assessment factors.

Must have 24/7 monitoring and police response.


ITS will select the panic/duress button equipment and install it in a location that is not susceptible to being triggered accidentally while readily accessible to the user.


A user in immediate duress that would not be able to otherwise call 3-2677 due to imminent physical harm will activate the panic button, triggering an emergency response by University Police. As soon as it is safe to do so, the activating party or another university member should call 3-2677 to update University Police with key information. The calling party should remain on the line with University Police and provide all requested information.

False Activation

In the event of an accidental activation, the user shall notify University Police (3-2677) immediately so response can be adjusted accordingly. Activation of the panic/duress alarm (unscheduled testing) to see/determine what type of response the officers have is prohibited.


ITS will coordinate with the end user to schedule the testing with University Police. Button will be activated and receipt in the communication center confirmed. Frequency of testing will be set by University Police.


Every two years, the University Police and ITS shall review all of the currently installed panic/duress buttons and determine if all still meet the criteria to require a panic/duress alarm. If the criteria is not met, a letter shall be sent to the Dean/Director giving notice the equipment will be disconnected and removed from service.


Training by the form of written material or verbal instruction will be reviewed with the end user, by ITS/UPD as well as the supervisor for the area upon installation. Information will be reiterated during the testing and or as requested by the supervisor. The training check list must be completed before the system will be activated and tested for the first time.

Request Form

Security/Duress Alarm Request Form