Campus safety and security update
August 25, 2023
Throughout the summer months, our work to expand Michigan State University’s safety and security network has continued. We stand committed to making sure our campus is a safe place for all Spartans — students, faculty, staff and visitors alike. I wanted to take a moment to update you on the actions that have been completed over the summer and share the progress of the work that continues to enhance campus safety.
On July 14, the MSU Department of Police and Public Safety conducted a full system test of our mass notification system. The test included text and email alerts, phone calls, as well as recent integrations with the SafeMSU app, MSU Green Light emergency phones and the outdoor weather siren system. Wireless Emergency Alerts, or WEA, were also tested by Ingham County Emergency Management.
In addition to these updates, MSU also is planning to integrate digital and Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, desk phones managed by MSU IT to play audible alerts. This addition will be implemented during the fall semester.
Finally, the university is working to introduce a new tone-based alert system that will complement the current systems in place. MSU DPPS will have the ability to broadcast a new emergency alert tone for use in emergency situations involving an immediate or active threat. Upon hearing the tone outside on campus, community members are asked to check their mobile devices for additional instructions. You can listen to the tone on the MSU Alert page.
We encourage all members of our community to log on to alert.msu.edu to review and update your notification preferences to ensure you receive alerts in the best way for you. You also can download the SafeMSU app and enable push notifications. Per standard procedure, MSU DPPS will conduct the fall semester mass notification system test on Sept. 6 at 10 a.m.
Door lock installations
Throughout the summer, MSU Infrastructure Planning and Facilities has worked to install hundreds of new door locks for classrooms and teaching lab spaces. These new locks allow those inside the room to lock the door while still allowing emergency personnel to enter.
Faculty, students and staff should only lock their classrooms during an emergency that presents a threat of active violence. To date, 65% of the identified rooms have new locks installed. Work installing new locks will continue into the academic year. For more information, visit the Safety Tips page.
Third-party after-action review
MSU continues to undergo its third-party after-action review by Security Risk Management Consultants. The expert security firm has completed its on-campus visit and is finalizing the results. The review is expected to be complete in September.
Security Operations Center
The new Security Operations Center on campus continues to be developed. MSU DPPS received the final recommendations for the center from an external consultant in July and has submitted service requests to build out the physical location of the center according to those recommendations. The center is currently housed at an interim location while the permanent center is being renovated. The permanent center is expected to be completed during the fall semester. Additional full-time employees have been hired and trained to staff the center, which is operational 24 hours a day.
Active violence training
MSU DPPS is also making progress developing an online-based active violence training that will be available to all students, faculty and staff. The training will include a video and knowledge checkpoint module. Filming of the video has begun, and the knowledge checkpoint questions are being developed. Once the training is finalized this fall semester, it will be available to everyone in the Spartan community on MSU’s AbilityLMS training platform.
We understand that this training may be difficult for some to complete right away following the violence our community experienced. Keeping this in mind, community members are encouraged to complete it on their own time, at the time that works best for them individually.
As we move forward and continuously expand our university’s safety and security portfolio, I want to remind you that we are here for you. MSU stands committed to ensuring the safety of all within the Spartan community. I wish you good luck as you begin a new semester. We will continue to provide you with updates as our progress continues.
Marlon Lynch (he/him)
Vice President and Chief Safety Officer
Michigan State University
To hear Vice President and Chief Safety Officer Marlon Lynch elaborate on these topics, listen to this recent MSU Today podcast.