Technology & Emergency Communications
The Department of Technology & Emergency Communications is responsible for the design, installation and maintenance of a state-of-the-art electronic security infrastructure for the University. This includes over 500 emergency blue light phones connected directly to our PennComm emergency radio dispatching center, over 115 pan-tilt-zoom closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras, as well as hundreds of fixed CCTV cameras throughout campus.
Electronic access control card readers, burglar and door alarms, sensors, and duress alarms installed in restrooms are the other key features of the security technology program located in Penn-owned buildings throughout campus.
All of our security technology reports back to our PennComm Communications Center. The PennComm operations team provides emergency communications and response between all members of the Penn and University City communities and police, fire and medical emergency responders 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Over 180,000 calls for service are processed directly by the PennComm Center annually, including calls for Walking Escort services. The dispatching center utilizes a state-of-the-art Computer Aided Dispatching (CAD) System to record all requests for service from the Penn Community, and is responsible for monitoring all alarms throughout campus, including burglar alarms, duress alarms and fire alarm systems. The Dispatchers can also see the City of Philadelphia’s 911 calls and respond quickly to any calls which may appear for within the Penn Patrol Zone.
PennComm operators, like the police officers assigned to various sectors for active walking, bike, and vehicle patrol, are trained to view the Penn patrol zone using the CCTV cameras through virtual patrol on a 24/7 basis for the purposes of crime prevention and abatement.