Santa Barbara- S County

City College Adds High-Tech Locks On Campus

Campus Classrooms Can Be Locked Down In Case Of Emergency

City College Adds High-Tech Locks On Campus

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Santa Barbara City College is taking a proactive approach to security before a major incident happens.

The campuses can be locked down with new high-tech locks on 600 doors in the Wake Center, Schott Center and main campus.

With just a swipe of a card, classroom doors open up with keyless entry.

The college started installing the new system in the summer and will finish by the end of March; it's all in the name of security.

"(The administration) wanted the ability to be able to lock down what ever campus was experiencing the emergency, with essentially the push of a button," said Julie Hendricks, the senior director of facilities, planning and campus development.

The main concern that prompted the new locks is the possibility of a shooter on campus.

"I think it's awesome. It's a good way to make sure that we are safe," said student Alyssa Espinosa.

But the new locks come with some growing pains.

"If I went to the bathroom I had to knock until someone came to open (the door) and it was really irritating. But I liked it when I found out why they changed it," said student Elsa Bergman.

Student Emmanuel Sierra noticed the new locks but didn't know what they were being used for.

"That's really cool and yeah that will be really safe but at the same time, what happens if a malfunction goes down? Because technology, you're not always going to have it perfectly dialed in," he said.

If an emergency does happen, only around half a dozen people have access to the computer system that locks down the school, including the college president and director of security.

If the campus is shut down and students aren't behind the safety of the door, people inside can help.

"You absolutely have the ability to open the door without any kind of impediment and let that person in. Then you do have the ability to relock the door so it reengages with the system," said Hendricks.

The security system is not cheap. It cost the school at least $1.7 million from the district construction fund.

"I think all in all, everybody at the college agrees it's been a really smart investment to provide for the protection of the students and the employees," said Hendricks.

The locks caught the eye of other schools and universities including Sacramento State. Representatives from that school will travel to City College Friday to talk about how they can implement the new locks on their campus as well.

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