University places new guard shack at checkpoint on Jackson Street entrance


Obaloluwa Olaniran

Next week members of the university family and all visitors will have to stop in front of Councill Hall at the Jackson Street checkpoint where members of the Alabama State University Police Department will check for identification, hang tags, and decals.

Kendal Manns, Senior Reporter/Writer

With crime and safety concerns becoming national topics, Alabama State University officials are upgrading its main checkpoint. A new guard shack was placed on the Jackson Street entrance and will be monitored 24 hours a day by campus police as early as next week.
Public Safety Director Kelvin Kendrick explains the reasoning behind the upgrade.
“We need to ensure safety and security for our campus community, especially for the main heart of the campus, like the student union (Hardy Center), residence halls, Council Hall, and just the main hubs around the campus.”
Campus police will enforce the stated policies that have been disseminated to students regarding vehicles and vehicle travel on the campus.
Students, faculty, and staff will be required to show their identification cards (ID) along with their decals (students) and hang tags (faculty and staff). The display of IDs will apply to everyone who occupies the vehicle as well.
The guard shack itself will include more advanced equipment. Cameras will be mounted on the shack that have analytic capabilities such as facial and tag recognition. The cameras will also be able to hear the exchanges between the officers and the occupants of the vehicles.
“That keeps the students safe as well as the officer,” Kendrick said, “in that way, there’s no ‘he said she said.’”
Monitors will also be installed inside the guard shack so campus police can obtain a view around the entire campus. Heating and cooling systems are also within the guard shack for comfort.
Kendrick emphasized that the guard shack will be open 24/7 to ensure maximum security for the campus.
“It will also help to have the guard shack be that main focal point in case of a major emergency and the campus is forced to lockdown,” Kendrick said. “It makes it a whole lot easier when there’s only one way in and one way out.”
According to Kendrick, there will only be one entrance to campus for the time being.
“With threats off-campus and COVID still being prevalent, the university is trying to limit access to certain areas,” Kendrick said.
Game days on campus will be one of the only exceptions to how the police personnel at the guard shack will operate. The campus will be open to the public two to three hours before games and a couple of hours after the game has ended.
“After those couple of hours are over, campus police will begin checking for tags and decals in parking lots to make sure that everyone on campus is supposed to be here,” Kendrick said. “Expect these protocols for the Labor Day Classic next week.”
Kendrick encourages students to go ahead and purchase their decals sooner rather than later.
“After this Friday, we’re not going to allow you access to the campus if you don’t have a decal,” Kendrick said. “Officers will have scanners that can be used to scan decals and IDs. Students need to get their decals ASAP if they haven’t already.”