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New technology possible for UNCG emergency phones

Greensboro, N.C. -- The UNCG Police Department is looking into changing the technology behind their blue light emergency phone system.

"The older ones are starting to show some of their age and so we're exploring the possibility of updating to a more cellular solution," explained Chief of Police Paul Lester.

Right now the department is testing the new technology in one emergency phone located on Gate City Blvd.

"We will leave this phone in place during the construction and we'll test it as we have been to make sure that it's working in the same manner as the landline phones," Lester said.

With cell phones and smartphone safety apps, the emergency phones are not the most common way students call for help these days, but those who live in dorms far from the main campus area say the blue lights give them a sense of security.

"I never have cell phone service so having those around is really nice because I know I'll be able to contact police I know someone will be there promptly," said Thai Sonkesek, a student at UNCG.

"There was a rape incident and I used that to contact the police and so they are really convenient and nice to have around," Sonkesek added.

Some of the emergency phones around campus and their landline infrastructure are more than 20 years old. Chief Lester says the new technology is cheaper than continuing to repair phones and it's easier to move around, which is helpful as the campus moves south along Gate City Blvd.